Unexpected growth in the SA economy

SOUTH Africa's economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter of last year, boosted by a continued bounce in manufacturing and a return to growth in the financial sector.

SOUTH Africa's economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter of last year, boosted by a continued bounce in manufacturing and a return to growth in the financial sector.

Stats SA said GDP grew by 3,2percent in the fourth quarter of last year on a seasonally adjusted and annualised basis, compared with a third quarter expansion of 0,9percent.

The fourth quarter growth was above the consensus forecast of a 2,5percent expansion in a Reuters poll last week.

"The drivers of growth in this quarter are global demand, capital formation and increasing government activity rather than the domestic demand side," Rashad Cassim, deputy director-general for economic statistics at Stats SA, said.

An uptick in domestic demand may be crucial to sustain the recovery in the next two quarters, he said. Household finances remain under pressure after SA's first recession in almost two decades wiped out nearly 900000 jobs last year. - Reuters

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