SA economy grew by 1.5% in fourth quarter of 2020

Stats SA announced the latest gross domestic product figures on Tuesday.

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JOHANNESBURG - Stats SA announced on Tuesday that the economy grew by 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, giving an annualised growth rate of 6.3%.

It said that the manufacturing industry increased at a rate of 21.1% in the fourth quarter, contributing 2.4 percentage points to GDP growth. Nine of the ten manufacturing divisions reported positive growth rates in the fourth quarter. The four divisions with the largest contributions to the increase were food and beverages; motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment; basic iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery; and wood and wood products, paper, publishing and printing.

The trade, catering and accommodation industry increased at a rate of 9.8%, contributing 1.3 percentage points to GDP growth. Increased economic activity was reported for retail trade, motor trade, catering and accommodation.

The transport, storage and communication industry increased at a rate of 6.7%, contributing 0.5 of a percentage point to GDP growth. Increased economic activity was reported for land and air transport and communication services.

The construction industry increased at a rate of 11.2% in the fourth quarter. Increased production was reported for residential buildings, non-residential buildings and construction works.

The personal services industry increased at a rate of 4.8% in the fourth quarter; increased economic activities were reported for community and other producers.

The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry increased at a rate of 5.9% in the fourth quarter. The increase was mainly due to increased production of animal products.

ANNUAL ESTIMATES

In terms of annual estimates for 2020, Stats SA said annual real GDP decreased by 7.0% in 2020 following an increase of 0.2% in 2019.

The annual real GDP growth rate of -7.0% in 2020 was primarily led by decreases in manufacturing, which contributed -1.4 percentage points based on growth of -11.6%; trade, catering and accommodation, which contributed -1.3 percentage points based on growth of -9.1%; and transport, storage and communication, which contributed -1.3 percentage points based on growth of -14,8%.

The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry increased by 13.1% in 2020, and general government increased by 0.7% in 2020.

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