By Adedapo Adesanya
South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has unexpectedly contracted by 0.6 percent in the third quarter of 2019, the country’s agency in charge of figures has said.
In a report released on Tuesday morning by the Statistics South Africa, the decline followed a revised 3.2 percent expansion recorded in the second quarter of the year, while on a year-on-year basis, the economy grew by by 0.1 percent.
However, the statistics department indicated that positive contributions from a number of sectors drove up the GDP to a nominal standing of 1.29 trillion Rands in the period under review, higher than the R1.26 trillion recorded in the second quarter of 2019. This then brought about a total of 3.1 percent growth that analysts say puts the nation back at where it was at the beginning of the year.
Out of the country 10 main driving sectors, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and transport sectors all recorded decline. Mining had the largest crackdown by 6.1 percent, driven largely by a fall in the production of platinum group metals, coal and iron ore.
Agriculture fell for the third consecutive quarter by 3.6 percent as the country recorded lower production for field crops such as maize, wheat, sunflower seeds, tobacco and soyabeans.
Manufacturing also fell by 3.9 percent and the statistics office attributed this mainly to decreases in the manufacturing of basic iron, steel, and machinery products, as well as products related to the petroleum, chemicals and plastics division.
However, positive gains were reported in the third quarter for the food and beverages and transport manufacturing divisions. In the report, it was stated that transportation fell by 5.4 percent, electricity plunged by 4.9 percent, while construction went down by 3.7 percent.
Despite this, there were positives in other sectors which include trade which went up by 2.6 percent, government, by 2.4 percent, finance rose by 1.6 percent, while personal services contributed up by 0.4 percent.
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