Johannesburg – South Africa’s real gross domestic product (GDP) increased during the third quarter of 2014, but Economist Razia Khan pointed out that figures for the mining and manufacturing sectors are disappointing.
“The seasonally adjusted real GDP at market prices for the third quarter of 2014 increased by an annualised rate of 1.4% compared with an increase of 0.5% (revised from 0.6%) during the second quarter of 2014,” Stats SA said on Tuesday.
The main contributors to the increase in the economic activity were finance, real estate and business services, the wholesale, retail, and motor trade, and the catering and accommodation industry, each contributing 0.5%.
General government services contributed 0.3 of a percentage point and the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry and the transport, storage, and communication industry each contributed 0.2 of a percentage point.
The manufacturing industry had a negative contribution.
Manufacturing slumped 3.4% while the vital mining sector only managed to expand 1.6%.
Describing the data as disappointing, economist Razia Khan said: “Hopes had been resting on these sectors to create some sort of escape velocity for the economy.”
Stats SA said the seasonally adjusted real annualised value added by the primary and tertiary sectors recorded increases of 3.1% and 2.4% respectively.
The secondary sector recorded a decrease of two percent during the third quarter of 2014.
“The unadjusted real GDP at market prices for the third quarter of 2014 increased by 1.4% compared with the third quarter of 2013,” said Stats SA.
“The estimates of GDP for the first nine months of 2014 compared with the corresponding period in 2013 increased by 1.5%.”
The real annual GDP increased by 2.2% in 2013 following an increase of 2.2% (revised from an increase of 2.5%) in 2012.
Stats SA said that according to the latest preliminary indicators the independent annual real estimate of GDP for 2013 increased by 2.2% compared with 2012.
“The GDP estimates are preliminary, and may routinely be revised on the basis of additional evidence that has become available by the time the subsequent quarter s estimates are released,” said Stats SA.
Last week, Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago said the economy would grow by just 1.4% this year, as the outlook for 2015 and 2016 were slashed.
The revised 2015 forecast was for 2.5% growth and 2.9% in 2016.
The economy has been hard hit by a mining strike that halted platinum production for five months.
It had shrank in the first quarter of the year, before stumbling back to growth as the strike ended in June.
In the absence of another turbulent year in the labour market, the economy looks good for growth of around 2.5% in 2015, shows the the latest RMB/BER business confidence index (BCI).
The BCI showed an increase of five points to 51 in the fourth quarter of 2014.
“This is the first time since early 2013 that confidence is back in net positive territory (if only just),” RMB said in a statement on Tuesday.
“A reading of 51 indicates that slightly over half of the respondents are satisfied with prevailing business conditions.”