Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

The credit crunch that analysts predict will lead to a recession in the US will pull down the world's economies, but South African jobs will be secure.

Speaking at the release of Stanlib's quarterly global economic report yesterday, Stanlib's chief economist, Kevin Lings, said that while there would be a slowdown in SA's economic activity, there would be no job losses this year.

He said: "Companies have invested too much into training employees to just fire and rehire them when things get better."

Stanlib predicts that US economic growth will fall below two percent from last year's level and bring down the rest of the world.

"The US is the world's largest economy, and the world can't do without it yet. Most key economic indicators are pointing to a sharp slowdown in activity.

"If the Federal Reserve doesn't cut interest rates fairly aggressively, the US could go into a recession that will take [its] unemployment above five percent."

The US makes up 28percent of the world's gross domestic product, followed by the Euro-currency economy at 22,7 percent and Japan at 10,3 percent. Africa makes up just 1,9percent of global output.

World markets tumbled by a collective 17percent last month, just three percent shy of what would be considered a global economic recession, according to the Morgan Stanley World Index.

Stanlib group director Paul Hansen said: "This is the biggest decline since the bull market started its run in 2003. The move upwards has clearly been broken, meaning a lot more risk in developing world markets. Resources have been the only investments to have shown positive growth in this period."

The JSE fell by 24percent last month, but the gold sector grew by 9,4percent and platinum climbed by 11,9percent.

Lings said: "South Africa's economy will slow down to around four percent, especially due to the electricity shortage.

"The only way to bring the growth up to projected levels of six percent is to increase infrastructure development."