South Africa emerges from recession

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pretoria - South Africa has emerged from its first recession in seventeen years.

South Africa's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2009 increased by 0.9 percent, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced on Tuesday.

"The seasonally adjusted real GDP at market prices for the third quarter of 2009 increased by an annualized 0.9 percent compared with the second quarter of 2009," said Stats SA.

The revised figure for GDP in the second quarter came in at 2.8 percent from an earlier 3 percent.

"You should however keep in mind that the unadjusted number for the same quarter came in at -2.1 percent. So short term indicators seem to tell us that the economy is picking up but the long term indicators still remain negative," said Stats SA's executive manager of national accounts, Joe De Beer.

The South African economy had contracted for the last three quarters in a row, but the positive growth figure recorded, means that the country is not technically in a recession.

Commenting on the results, Nedbank economist Isaac Matshego said: "We expected it. This means that the man on the street can start thinking of things getting better.

"Initial signs are good but the outlook is not as rosy, its going to take some time."