PRETORIA– South Africa’s economy grew by 3.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017, ending the year on a strong footing, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced on Tuesday.
Stats SA’s Deputy Director-General for Economic Statistics, Joe de Beer, told a media briefing that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fourth quarter grew by 3.1 per cent following a revised growth of 2.3 per cent in the previous quarter. Growth in the third quarter of 2017 was revised upwards from an initial 2.0 per cent.
The highest contributor to the growth in the fourth quarter came from agriculture which grew by 37.5 per cent followed by strong growth from the trade sector which grew by 4.8 per cent, said de Beer.
On an annual basis the GDP grew by 1.3 per cent in 2017 compared with 0.6 per cent in 2016. The growth rate beat the National Treasury’s projections made during the tabling of the 2018 Budget in February of GDP growth of 1.0 per cent in 2017.
Previously, during the tabling of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in October last year, the Treasury had projected growth to come in at 0.7 per cent for 2017.
On a quarter on quarter basis, the largest positive contributor to GDP growth in the fourth quarter was the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry sector which expanded by 37.5 per cent, contributing 0.8 per cent to GDP growth.
Meanwhile the trade, catering and accommodation industry increased by 4.8 per cent and contributed 0.6 per cent to GDP growth. The manufacturing industry and finance, real estate and business services increased by 4.3 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively contributing 0.5 per cent to GDP growth.
However, mining and quarrying decreased by 4.4 per cent.
In Quarter Four, nominal GDP was estimated at 1,208 billion Rand which is 29 billion Rand more than in the third quarter.
On an annual basis, real GDP grew by 1.3 per cent in 2017 following an increase of 0.6 per cent in 2016 primarily led by increased economic activity by the finance, real estate and business services that contributed 0.4 per cent. The 0.4 per cent contribution was based on growth of 1.9 per cent in agriculture, forestry and fishing, among others.
Meanwhile, expenditure on real GDP increased by 3.1 per cent in the fourth quarter following an increase of 2.3 per cent in the third quarter.
Household final consumption expenditure increased by 3.6 per cent in the fourth quarter contributing 2.2 per cent in total growth while government final consumption expenditure increased by 1.6 per cent. Exports increased by 12.3 per cent and imports increased by 26.5 per cent.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK