Stats SA: Despite growth, economy still smaller than pre-COVID levels

The entity on Tuesday reported that the economy had grown by 1.2% in the second quarter of the year.

FILE: Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Statistics South Africa said that despite the four consecutive quarters of growth recorded in the economy it remained 1.4% smaller than it was before the pandemic.

The entity on Tuesday reported that the economy had grown by 1.2% in the second quarter of the year.

While other economies across the world have been posting roaring growth, reaching pre-pandemic levels, South Africa still lags as it struggles to shrug off the impact of the disruption.

The data released by Stats SA on Tuesday covered the period between April and June and has not reviewed the severe impact of the July protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, which will only reflect in the third quarter of the year in December.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said: “Our real GDP, as of the second quarter of 2020, was knocked down to the lowest levels. It started recovering after that and where it is now, it is sitting at R1.13 trillion.”

The second-quarter data shows that economic activity in the country returned to the level last seen in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Transport and agriculture recorded the highest growth rates in the second quarter.

FINANCE THE LARGEST INDUSTRY IN SA

Maluleke said that finance was now the largest industry in South Africa, followed by personal services.

This is measured based on the contribution made to the total value added in the second quarter of the year.
Finance contributed 23% to the total GDP.

Maluleke explained what led to the growth: “And the industries that contributed the most are the transport and communications sector, which contributed 0.5 of a percentage point and when we said it contributed a 0.5 of a percentage growth, that means it contributed to the 1.2% of the growth and grew by 6.9% and the next one was personal services, which grew by 0.4 of a percentage point.”

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