First quarter GDP decreases by 2%


The effects of lockdown have forced GDP down by a significant number.

South Africa’s gross domestic product decreased by 2% in the first quarter of 2020 thus continuing the country’s recessionary trend.

This followed the economy shrinking by 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The obvious effects of the Covid-19 lockdown have begun filtering through the economic system, dragging most sectors into the red.

Globally South Africa is not alone in this quagmire, as the United Kingdom reported a 2.2% contraction of its economy in its first quarter.

Locally, the mining and quarrying industry decreased by 21.5%.

The key manufacturing industry took a hit of 8.5% downward. Seven of the ten manufacturing divisions reported negative growth rates in the first quarter.

Despite this, agriculture, forestry and the fishing industry increased by 27.8%. The uptick was mainly due to increases in the production of field crops, horticultural products and animal products.

The electricity, gas and water industry contracted by 5.6% in the first quarter, largely due to decreases in electricity distributed and water consumption.

The construction industry decreased by 4.7%. Decreases were reported for residential buildings, non-residential buildings and construction works.

Finance, real estate and business services increased, by 3.7%, in the first quarter.

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