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South Africa's GDP contracted in fourth quarter

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Staff Writer | March 8, 2017
South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2016, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported.
Africa   Exports increased by 12.5%
The contraction follows on GDP growth of 0.4% in the third quarter. The 0.3% negative growth in the fourth quarter is the first negative quarter four growth since a -2.3% drop that was seen in the fourth quarter of 2008, SA News recalls.

Announcing the GDP figures, Stats SA Chief Director for National Accounts, Michael Manamela, said mining and manufacturing were the two major industries that contributed negatively to growth in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Mining and quarrying decreased by 11.5% in the fourth quarter due to lower production in coal, gold and other metal ores. Mining and quarrying contributed -0.9% to GDP growth.

Meanwhile, manufacturing decreased by 3.1% due to lower production in the manufacturing of foods and beverages and the manufacturing of petroleum, among others.

On the other hand, agriculture, forestry and fishing industry have been contracting for eight consecutive quarters, sliding by 0.1% in the fourth quarter mainly due to the decline in the production of horticultural products.

However, the trade, catering and accommodation industry and finance, real estate and business services increased by 2.1% and 1.6%, respectively.

In a positive note, net exports contributed positively to growth in expenditure on GDP.

Exports increased by 12.5% due to higher exports of precious metals and mineral products. Imports increased by 6.1% due to higher imports of machinery and equipment.