Stats SA has releases its revised GDP data for 2015, showing that South Africa came closer to a recession than previously thought.
The statistics agency showed that while the country’s GDP still grew at 1.3% in 2015, all but one quarter’s growth had to be revised down.
Q4 2015 was revised down to 0.4% from 0.6%, while Q3 growth was revised down to 0.3% from 0.7%. The second quarter decline was also larger than first thought, revised down to -2.0% from -1.3%.
Only the first quarter saw an upward revision to 1.9% from 1.4% previously.
The revised data shows that South Africa narrowly missed a ‘textbook’ recession, which is described as two successive quarters of economic decline. In this case, the country missed a recession by a mere 0.3 percentage points.
Despite the country’s ability to avoid a technical recession thus far, many sectors of the economy are already in recession – most notably the mining, manufacturing and agricultural sector.
Economists says that South Africa’s chances for recession in 2016 are very high, with some believing that the country is already in a negative economic growth phase.
The IMF and the World Bank expect growth for 2016 to be at 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively, while the SA government anticipates growth at 0.9%.