Stats SA to announce third quarter GDP results

South Africa exits recession in just three months

South Africa emerged from its first recession in nearly a decade in the third quarter as recoveries in manufacturing and agriculture contributed to an increase in economic growth.

The rand firmed by as much as 1% shortly after the release of the results.

"Specifically, third quarter's growth is forecast at 1.5 percent quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualised".

Manufacturing expanded 7.5%, agriculture grew 6.5%. Large contributions came from steel and metals, and motor vehicle production, among other things.

The primary industry sector still lags, the mining industry decreasing by 8.8%, construction by 2.7% and electricity, gas and water by 0.9%. Cyril Ramaphosa's ascent to power - first as leader of the ruling African National Congress in December and as President in February - bolstered sentiment and the rand following Jacob Zuma's scandal-ridden tenure of nearly nine years, but indexes show confidence has waned as businesses seek real reforms. The agribusiness confidence index dropped from 48 to 42, mainly due to concerns over weather conditions and a lack of clarity on land reform policy.

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The tertiary sector grew by 2.6% during the quarter.

The positive growth recorded in the third quarter follows two quarters of negative growth in the first (-2.6) and second (-0.7%) quarters this year.

The economic rebound was on the higher end of what economists had been predicting, with the main growth drivers being secondary industries (trade, transport, finance, government and personal services).

Household expenditure was slightly up. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

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