south africa
source: Stats SA

The mining sector in South Africa registered its third consecutive quarter of negative growth. This is according to Q1 2019 GDP figures released today by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

According to the report, a fall-off in diamond, iron ore and coal production pulled the industry down by 10,8%. This is mining’s biggest decline since the first quarter of 2016.

Meanwhile, the economy in South Africa slumped sharply in the first three months of 2019, contracting by 3,2%. This marks the biggest quarterly fall in economic activity since the first quarter of 2009, when the economy – under strain from the global financial crisis – tumbled by 6,1%.

The manufacturing industry was the biggest drag on growth in the first quarter of 2019, falling by 8,8%. This was driven mostly by declines in petroleum, transport and wood and paper.

Government, finance and personal services were the three industries that posted positive growth figures, keeping their heads above water in the first quarter.

Government activity expanded by 1,2%, mostly as a result of increased civil service employment contracts related to the run-up to the general election.

Finance and business services, the largest industry in South Africa edged up 1,1% and personal services also expanded by 1,1%.

Key facts from the GDP release for the first quarter of 2019:

  • Real GDP in the first quarter was down 3,2% quarter-on-quarter (seasonally adjusted and annualised).
  • Unadjusted real GDP in the first quarter was flat (0% growth) year-on-year.
  • Nominal GDP in the first quarter of 2019 was estimated at R1,20 trillion, lower than the R1,26 trillion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018.
  • Expenditure on GDP in the first quarter fell by 3,4% quarter-on-quarter (seasonally adjusted and annualised), largely a result of declining exports, weaker fixed capital investment and falling household consumption expenditure.