South Africa Economic Forecast

South Africa Economic Outlook

January 25, 2022

Incoming data for Q4 suggests that the economy regained momentum following Q3’s setback. In November, retail sales returned to growth in monthly terms, as did manufacturing production—which grew at the quickest pace in three months. Additionally, business confidence averaged higher in October–November than in Q3, boding well for investment. Still, the recovery could have faltered in the final month of the year, after the country reported the discovery of the Omicron variant in late November and several travel bans were imposed. In other news, the government announced its priorities for 2022 in early January, including tackling high unemployment levels and poverty rates, as well as combating corruption. Meanwhile, on 15 December, Fitch Ratings affirmed the country’s ‘BB-’ rating and upgraded the outlook to stable, highlighting the brisk economic recovery and a strong fiscal performance.

South Africa Economic Growth

Economic growth will moderate markedly this year, following 2021’s projected rebound. Nevertheless, stronger capital spending growth and a continued expansion in private consumption will support activity. That said, the still-high unemployment rate and elevated public debt stocks pose downside risks to the outlook, as does lingering uncertainty over the pandemic. FocusEconomics panelists see the economy expanding 2.0% in 2022, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection, and 1.9% in 2023.

South Africa Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)55.456.357.157.958.8
GDP per capita (USD)6,0225,2916,2206,1376,121
GDP (USD bn)317297350368360
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)
Investment (annual variation in %)2.5-3.51.0-1.4-0.9
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)0.00.7-0.5-  -  
Unemployment Rate25.426.727.527.128.7
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-3.7-3.6-4.1-4.0-6.3
Public Debt (% of GDP)49.351.553.056.762.2
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)
Exchange Rate (vs USD)15.5013.6812.3814.3913.98
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)12.7814.7013.3113.2514.45
Current Account (% of GDP)-4.6-2.9-2.5-3.5-3.0
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-14.6-8.5-8.9-13.1-10.6
Trade Balance (USD billion)-
Exports (USD billion)80.676.487.894.190.2
Imports (USD billion)84.374.382.992.387.5
Exports (annual variation in %)-13.9-
Imports (annual variation in %)-14.6-11.911.711.3-5.2
International Reserves (USD)41.842.745.346.448.9
External Debt (% of GDP)

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South Africa Facts

Value Change Date
Bond Yield8.260.29 %Dec 31
Exchange Rate13.98-0.21 %Dec 31
Stock Market0.1-0.44 %Jan 06

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