South Africa’s economy saw an unexpected 2 percent growth in third quarter, propelled by an expansion in the agricultural sector, which continued to recover from an austere drought.
The continent’s most industrialised, grew quarter on quarter by 2 percent by the end of September, from the revised 2.8 percent in the second quarter.
The growth was also propelled by expansion in both the mining and manufacturing sectors. This comes as a relief as the country was last month, downgraded by S&P Global Ratings. Moody’s had also placed South Africa on review for a downgrade.
It contracted 0.6 percent in the first three months of the year, following a 0.3 percent easing in the last quarter of 2016.
The Treasury in October cut the 2017 growth forecast to 0.7 percent and said annual growth would remain below 2 percent for the next three years as policy uncertainty had affected investor confidence.
“Farming led the way by recovering from the drought with 44.2 percent growth during the quarter, while major sectors of mining, manufacturing and financial services also showed steady growth.
In agriculture the increase was largely driven by production of field crops as well as products in the horticulture environment,” said Risenga Maluleke, the country’s Statistician General.
Meanwhile, real gross domestic product expenditure rose by 2.1 percent in third quarter after expanding by a revised 2.7 percent in the second quarter, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.
Also, household expenditure increased by 2.6 percent in the three months to September after increasing by 4.7 percent in the previous three months.
Government expenditure however, went down 0.5 percent after rising by 1.4 percent in the last quarter.
Gross fixed capital formation rose by some 4.3 percent from a 2 percent reduction. Exports of goods and services went down 10.3 percent while imports dropped 13.7 percent.