South Africa Economic Forecast

South Africa Economic Outlook

September 21, 2021

Economic growth picked up pace in Q2, largely due to a rebound in fixed investment and upbeat export growth. Turning to Q3, however, the improvement was seemingly setback, with retail sales and manufacturing output declining at marked rates in monthly terms in July. Moreover, business confidence ebbed in the same month, boding ill for investment, while the private sector PMI remained in contractionary territory for the second consecutive month in August. More positively, the vaccination campaign has continued to accelerate and infection rates have decreased, while on 27 August the U.S. shipped another batch of 2.2 million shots through Covax. These developments have allowed authorities to ease some restrictions, which should support activity ahead. Meanwhile, the government recently announced plans to introduce vaccine passports, in order to improve uptake of the jab amid skepticism over its efficacy.

South Africa Economic Growth

GDP is set to rebound strongly this year from 2020’s pandemic-induced downturn, spurred by healthier investment and private consumption dynamics, while growth is projected to ease in 2022. An elevated unemployment rate, social unrest and frail public finances pose downside risks, while ongoing power shortages will add further pressure. FocusEconomics panelists see the economy expanding 4.4% in 2021, and 2.5% in 2022, which is unchanged from last month’s projection.

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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