South Africa: Economy Contracts By 3.2 Percent in the First Quarter

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Statistician General Risenga Maluleke says the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 3.2% in the first quarter of 2019.

Speaking at the release of the GDP results for the first quarter of 2019, Maluleke on Tuesday said this was largely due to the mining and quarrying and manufacturing industries being negative contributors to growth quarter-on-quarter.

The manufacturing industry decreased by 8.8% and contributed -1.1 percentage points to the GDP.

Seven of the 10 manufacturing divisions reported negative growth rates in the first quarter. The divisions that made the largest contributions to the decrease were petroleum, chemical products, rubber, plastic products, motor vehicles, parts and accessories, as well as other transport equipment, wood products, publishing and printing.

Maluleke said the mining and quarrying industry contracted by 10.8% and contributed -0.8 of a percentage point to GDP growth.

The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry contracted by 13.2% and contributed -0.3 of a percentage point to GDP growth.

The decrease was mainly because of a drop in the production of field crops and horticultural products.

The finance, real estate and business services industries increased by 1.1% in the first quarter. An increase in economic activity was reported in the financial intermediation, real estate activities and business services.

General government services increased by 1.2% and this was mainly attributed to an increase in employment.

Personal services increased by 1.1%.

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