South Africa’s unemployment rate hit a record high in the first quarter of this year as key sectors including agriculture shed jobs, data showed on Tuesday.
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South Africa’s economy slumped into its second recession in consecutive years as power cuts weighed on output and business confidence dropped, adding to pressure on the central bank to cut interest rates.
Consumer-price growth quickened to 4.5% from 4% in December, Statistics South Africa said on Wednesday. The median estimate of 19 economists was for 4.6%.
South African retail sales beat estimates and grew the most in seven months in November as specials offered by retailers boosted trade.
South Africa’s economy contracted for a second quarter this year in the three months to September as farming, mining and factory output slumped. The rand extended its decline against the dollar.
South Africa’s annual inflation rate dropped more than forecast to the lowest in almost nine years in October, providing some room for the central bank to ease policy.
South Africa’s annual inflation rate was unchanged at 4.5% in June, staying where the central bank wants the rate anchored.
South Africa’s economy contracted the most in a decade in the first quarter as the nation suffered the deepest power outages since 2008. The rand dropped and banking shares slumped.
South Africa’s inflation rate reached the mid-point of the central bank’s target range of 3-6% in December — something the Reserve Bank says would allow for flexibility in dealing with price shocks.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has suffered the same false start as his predecessor nine years ago: a recession in his first six months in office.