South Africa

South Africa GDP

South Africa GDP

Economic Growth in South Africa

South Africa's GDP growth from 2013 to 2022 was constrained by structural issues, including high unemployment, violent crime, corruption and electricity supply crises. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant contraction in 2020. By 2022, the economy showed signs of recovery, but growth remained tepid by Sub-Saharan African standards

South Africa recorded an average real GDP growth rate of 1.0% in the decade to 2022, below the 3.0% average for Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2022, real GDP growth was 1.9%. For more GDP information, visit our dedicated page.

South Africa GDP Chart

Note: This chart displays Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %) for South Africa from 2013 to 2022.
Source: Statistics South Africa.

South Africa GDP Data

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Economic Growth (GDP, ann. var. %) 1.6 0.3 -6.0 4.7 1.9
GDP (USD bn) 405 389 338 420 405
GDP (ZAR bn) 5,363 5,625 5,568 6,209 6,629
Economic Growth (Nominal GDP, ann. var. %) 5.6 4.9 -1.0 11.5 6.8

GDP growth edges up and beats market expectations in Q2

Economic growth improved timidly in the second quarter, with GDP increasing 0.6% on a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis (Q1: +0.4% s.a. qoq). The acceleration overshot market expectations; the upturn doubled the 0.3% increase penciled in by economists polled by Bloomberg. That said, ongoing power outages and logistic constraints continued to hold back economic growth. Domestically, fixed investment growth hit an over two-year high of 3.9% in the second quarter (Q1: +1.8% s.a. qoq). Additionally, public consumption strengthened to a 1.7% expansion in Q2 (Q1: +1.3% s.a. qoq). These improvements more than offset Q2’s 0.3% contraction in private consumption (Q1: +0.4% s.a. qoq), which accounts for roughly two-thirds of GDP. This contraction marked the worst result since Q3 2021, likely due to elevated interest rates. Still, a slight improvement in the unemployment rate (Q2: 32.6%; Q1: 32.9%) and receding average inflation in the quarter likely prevented a steeper consumption decline. On the external front, exports of goods and services increased 0.9% on a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis in the second quarter, which was below the first quarter's 4.3% expansion. Similarly, imports of goods and services growth waned to 3.3% in Q2 (Q1: +4.8% s.a. qoq). Consequently, the external sector detracted from overall growth. On an annual basis, economic growth improved to 1.6% in Q2, compared to the previous period's 0.2% growth.

Consensus Forecasts and Projections for the next ten years

How should you choose a forecaster if some are too optimistic while others are too pessimistic? FocusEconomics collects South African GDP projections for the next ten years from a panel of 28 analysts at the leading national, regional and global forecast institutions. These projections are then validated by our in-house team of economists and data analysts and averaged to provide one Consensus Forecast you can rely on for each indicator. By averaging all forecasts, upside and downside forecasting errors tend to cancel each other out, leading to the most reliable GDP forecast available for South African GDP.

Download one of our sample reports to visualize what a Consensus Forecast is and see our South African GDP projections.

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