South Africa’s economy contracted the most in nine years in the first quarter of 2018 as mining and factory output fell.
GDP shrank an annualised 2.2% in the first quarter of the year compared to the prior three months, Statistics South Africa said in a report released on Tuesday in Pretoria. However, when measured against the first quarter of 2017, the economy expanded 0.8%.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s rise to power since December initially boosted sentiment and the rand following former leader Jacob Zuma’s scandal-ridden tenure of almost nine years, but confidence indexes have now returned to levels they were at late last year as businesses seek real reforms.
The South African Reserve Bank forecasts the economy will expand 1.7% this year and 2019 and 2% in 2020. — Reported by Ntando Thukwana and Odwa Mjo, with assistance from Simbarashe Gumbo, (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media