SA economy has fallen by 51%, says statistician-general

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter
Statistician General Risenga Maluleke
Statistician General Risenga Maluleke
Image: Freddy Mavunda

The SA economy has fallen by 51% in the second quarter of 2020 mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was announced by statistician-general Risenga Maluleke when he released the gross domestic product (GDP) statistics of the second quarter of 2020 in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Maluleke said it was the first time in the history of SA that the economy recorded negative growth in four consecutive quarters.

The manufacturing industry was the most affected, especially by the national Covid-19 lockdown which effectively shut down all industries at the end of March. Statistics showed that the sector contracted by a staggering 74.9% in the second quarter of the year.

Maluleke said all 10 manufacturing divisions reported negative growth with large decreases in the steel, iron, non-ferrous metal products, chemical products, rubber food and beverages among others.

The SA economy has now recorded fourth consecutive quarter of economic decline in the history of StatsSA gathering the country's GDP growth. 

In the last release in June, mining and manufacturing were the most significant contributors to the economy’s poor performance in the first quarter. Mining activity had slowed by 21,5%, which was the biggest slump in six years.

Maluleke announced that the trade, catering and accommodation industry went down by 67.6% due to reduced economic activity during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Mining, which had also recorded declines in the first quarter of the year, continued on the same trajectory – declining by 73.15, contributing a -6.0% percentage points to the GDP. Finance, real estate and business services declined by 28.9%, contributing -5.4% to GDP growth.

Maluleke, however, revealed that agriculture, forestry and fishing were the industries that made a positive contributions in the GDP growth with a solid increase of 15.1%.

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