CAPE TOWN: The South African economy grew by 1.3% in 2017 compared to 2016 and following an increase of 2.3% in the third quarter of 2017.
The annual growth exceeds National Treasury’s expectation of 1% growth announced during the National Budget Speech in February, Statistics SA said on Tuesday.
“In a time when good news seems hard to come by, the latest gross domestic product (GDP) results provide some cautious cheer,” Stats SA said in a statement.
“After a wobbly start to 2017, which saw economic activity contract in the first quarter, the economy saw sustained growth for the remainder of the year. The fourth quarter experienced the highest growth rate of 2017, with the economy expanding by 3.1% quarter-on-quarter – seasonally adjusted and annualised.”
The strengthening in economic activity over 2017 was partly driven by an agriculture industry bouncing back from one of the worst droughts in recent history.
A bumper maize crop and recovery in other agricultural commodities saw agriculture production rise by 17.7% in 2017 compared with 2016.