Urgent calls for reform as South Africa’s GDP contracts 0.6% in third quarter

South Africa’s gross domestic product contracted by 0.6% in the third quarter. However, on a year-on-year basis, the economy grew by 0.1%, Statistics South Africa statistician-general Risenga Maluleke told media on Tuesday. Previously, Stats SA had revealed that the GDP, in the first quarter of the year, had dropped by 3.1%. The second quarter, however, saw a 3.1% growth - basically putting the country where it was at the start of the year. The unadjusted real GDP at market prices for the first nine months of this year increased by 0.3% year-on-year. Nominal GDP was estimated at just under R1.3-trillion for the quarter, up R31-billion from the second quarter.

Urgent calls for reform as South Africa’s GDP contracts 0.6% in third quarter

South Africa’s gross domestic product contracted by 0.6% in the third quarter. However, on a year-on-year basis, the economy grew by 0.1%, Statistics South Africa statistician-general Risenga Maluleke told media on Tuesday. Previously, Stats SA had revealed that the GDP, in the first quarter of the year, had dropped by 3.1%. The second quarter, however, saw a 3.1% growth - basically putting the country where it was at the start of the year. The unadjusted real GDP at market prices for the first nine months of this year increased by 0.3% year-on-year. Nominal GDP was estimated at just under R1.3-trillion for the quarter, up R31-billion from the second quarter.

Urgent calls for reform as South Africa’s GDP contracts 0.6% in third quarter

South Africa’s gross domestic product contracted by 0.6% in the third quarter. However, on a year-on-year basis, the economy grew by 0.1%, Statistics South Africa statistician-general Risenga Maluleke told media on Tuesday. Previously, Stats SA had revealed that the GDP, in the first quarter of the year, had dropped by 3.1%. The second quarter, however, saw a 3.1% growth - basically putting the country where it was at the start of the year. The unadjusted real GDP at market prices for the first nine months of this year increased by 0.3% year-on-year. Nominal GDP was estimated at just under R1.3-trillion for the quarter, up R31-billion from the second quarter.

PwC warns third-quarter GDP data likely to be ‘disappointing’

Of the 14 indicators in analyst firm PwC’s sectoral insights, published ahead of the release of gross domestic product (GDP) data on Tuesday, only wholesale trade and civil construction showed improvements in the third quarter. This, PwC said, “sends a clear warning” that GDP data for the third quarter would likely be disappointing, a situation that would also probably continue into the fourth quarter.

Bond fund exodus from South Africa well under way as credit rating teeters

South Africa's struggle to safeguard its last investment grade credit rating has failed to convince the most credit-sensitive global investors and many active fund managers have already voted with their feet. The precarious credit rating of the continent's most industrialised nation was put back in play once again last month after the government issued a bleak mid-term budget statement that slashed the growth forecast and showed government debt racing to more than 70% of gross domestic product by 2023.

Conference highlights critical role of small business in the economy

The small business sector in South Africa plays a significant role in the national economy, with government’s National Development Plan looking to small-, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) to create 11-million jobs and help drive economic growth, project delivery company Worley project portfolio manager Gladwin Mfolo said on Friday. According to the SMME landscape report for 2018/19, the SMME landscape is made up of relatively young businesses, with about 60% of small businesses having been in business for less than three years.

Investors turn defensive as Eskom’s day of reckoning approaches

Investors are prepared for the worst as the day of reckoning looms for Eskom Holdings, the State-owned power utility seen by Goldman Sachs Group as the biggest threat to the country’s economy. Yields on benchmark South African government notes are at their highest in three weeks, trumped only by junk-rated Nigeria, Turkey and Lebanon among 29 major emerging markets. Rand-denominated sovereign debt has lost 3% for dollar investors this half, the worst performance after Colombia and Argentina. Foreigners have dumped a net R25-billion of the country’s bonds this year, cutting their holdings to 37% of the total, from 43% less than 18 months ago.

South Africa debt-to-GDP could reach 95% by 2024, IIF says

South Africa's public debt could rise as high as 95% of gross domestic product by 2024 if the government doesn't restructure the state-run utility Eskom and implement a workable growth plan, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) said in a report. The report, released late on Wednesday, echoes a warning on Tuesday by the central bank about ballooning government debt, which has doubled from less than 30% of GDP before the 2008 global financial crisis to nearly 60%.

ANC shies away from endorsing asset sales

South Africa’s ruling party approved a range of proposals to revive economic growth, but stopped short of endorsing Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s controversial plan to sell some state assets. There was “broad consensus” among members of the African National Congress’s National Executive Committee about the challenges the nation faces and that business and labor need to play a greater role in fostering growth, Ace Magashule, the party’s secretary-general, told reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday. It was agreed the country needs to invest more in infrastructure, produce more renewable energy and fix ailing state companies, he said.

Presidential Economic Advisory Council members announced

The Presidency on Friday announced the names of the members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, which will start its work from October 1. Plans to establish the council were announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his June State of the Nation Address. The council is aimed at ensuring greater coherence and consistency in the implementation of economic policy and ensuring that government and society, in general, are better equipped to respond to changing economic circumstances.