South Africa’s economy slips into first recession since 2009

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Cyril Ramaphosa

The South African economy on Tuesday contracted into a technical recession, Bloomberg has reported.

Latest economic data by the country’s statistics agency showed second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) declined by about -0.7 per cent, driven by the poor performance in key sectors, including agriculture, transport and retail businesses.

It is the first time since 2009 that the South African economy, the second largest in Africa after Nigeria, will be going into recession.

This is coming barely six months since the current president, Cyril Ramaphosa, took over power. Since assuming office, Mr Ramaphosa has been struggling with pulling the economy from the precipice after more than a decade of decline.

“We are in a recession. We reported a contraction in the first quarter … and now in the second quarter with a fall of 0.7 percent,” Reuters News quoted South Africa’s Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke as saying following the latest economic indices were published.

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The country’s statistics agency said productivity from the agricultural sector plunged 29.2 per cent in the second quarter, while the transport, communication and storage sector also dropped 4.9 per cent. Mining sector recorded a growth of 4.9 per cent and finance by 1.9 per cent.

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