S.Africa's economy slows as record drought hits farming

1st March 2016, Comments 0 comments

South Africa's economy grew at an annualised 0.6 percent in the last quarter of 2015, as the country battles the worst drought in a century, official statistics showed Tuesday.

The growth was a slight drop from 0.7 percent posted in the previous quarter as President Jacob Zuma struggles to tackle high unemployment, a sharply weakened currency and falling commodity prices.

The worst drought in over 100 years saw the agriculture sector contract by 14 percent, said StatsSA.

The statistics agency said the economy grew by 1.3 percent in 2015, down from 1.5 percent the previous year.

Economists forecast that Africa's most developed economy will continue to be fragile, with the World Bank and the IMF predicting growth will be less than one percent in 2016.

Headline inflation jumped one percentage point to 6.2 percent in January, breaching the central bank's target of six percent.

The country's energy regulator on Tuesday approved a 9.4 percent-electricity tariff hike.


© 2016 AFP

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