South Africa’s first quarter growth slows to 1.1pc

South Africa’s economy expanded at a slower rate in the first quarter of this year compared with the previous three months, as key sectors of mining and trade expanded while farming saw a contraction, data from the statistics agency showed on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

The gross domestic product expanded by 1.1 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of 2021 on a seasonally adjusted and not annualized basis, after an expansion of 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

On a seasonally adjusted and annualized basis, the economy grew by 4.6 percent quarter-on-quarter, following growth of 5.8 percent in the previous quarter.

Mining expanded by 4.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted, not annualized basis, and trade grew by 1.5 percent. Agriculture fell by 0.8 percent.

“We can see that our rise in the first quarter of 2021 hasn’t reached the levels where we have been. Indeed we see we haven’t come out of the woods sufficiently enough in terms of responding to what has happened in the coronavirus disease [pandemic] despite the fact that the economy is growing,” Statistician General Risenga Maluleke told a news conference.

On a year-on-year basis, GDP contracted by 3.2 percent in the three months to the end of March, compared with a contraction of 4.2 percent in the previous quarter.

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