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Economists sound warning on economic growth after SA dodges recession

On Tuesday, Statistics SA announced that the economy grew by 3.1% in the second quarter of the year after a sharp decline was recorded in the first few months of the year.

Picture: Pexels

JOHANNESBURG - As South Africans sigh in relief after the economy dodged a recession in the second quarter of the year, economists are warning that unless the growth trajectory was maintained, the country’s problems would prevail.

On Tuesday, Statistics SA announced that the economy grew by 3.1% in the second quarter of the year after a sharp decline was recorded in the first few months of the year.

Although the second quarter growth was better than expected, Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim said that the country’s economy, which has been stuck in a rut for years, would need more than a rebound to come around.

"South African needs a minimum of 2.5% growth consistently to cause the unemployment rate to fall and to stabilise public debt and at least structurally we're some distance away from that milestone."

The mining sector, which grew by 14.4%, was a key driver of the improved performance.

Chief director for national accounts at Statistics SA Michael Manamela.

"There was an increase of 3.4% by the general government services likely by an increase in employment linked to the provincial and national elections that we had in May."

Stats SA also recorded the year-on-year growth at 0.9% while the six-month growth was 0.4%.