Investors to closely monitor SA polls after positive GDP figures, say economists

Stats SA said the country’s economy expanded by 1.4% in the fourth quarter of last year following a revised figure of 2.6% in the third quarter.

FILE: IEC officials prepare to welcome eligible voters on the first day of the final weekend of registration. Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - With two successive quarters of positive growth, economists say attention will now turn to the May elections, with investors set to watch the outcome closely.

Stats SA said the country’s economy expanded by 1.4% in the fourth quarter of last year following a revised figure of 2.6% in the third quarter.

Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim said growth in the remainder of the year would hinge on the election result and the policies that follow.

“The elections will not only steer the economy in the second half of 2019, but over the coming years.”

Chief economist at Stanlib Kevin Lings emphasised the need for stability.

“What we’re hoping is that over the next couple of months, particularly after the election in May, that we get a boost in confidence and we’ll get more policy certainty from government.”

There have been significant increases in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, quarter on quarter, with a sharp decline.

Overall growth for last year was measured at 0.8%.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)