Expatica news

South Africa posts 2.5% growth in 2012

South Africa’s economy grew at 2.5 percent 2012, according to official data released Tuesday, spelling more modest growth for Africa’s largest economy.

The annual figure was in line with government forecast, but was down from 3.1 percent in 2011.

As many countries in Africa enjoy unprecedented sustained growth, South Africa’s economy risks becoming tripped up, with confidence hit by a series of ratings downgrades and sclerotic policy implementation.

The government has touted an all-encompassing National Development Plan to eliminate poverty by 2030.

The growth figures come exactly a month before South Africa hosts a summit of large emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India, China — the BRICS.

South Africa remains the laggard of the group despite signs of a pickup in performance toward the end of last year, with growth reaching 2.1 percent in the last quarter of 2012.

The GDP growth almost doubled from the 1.2 percent posted in the third quarter, according to data released by Statistics South Africa.

Mining activity, a mainstay in Africa’s largest economy, fell by 9.3 percent in the fourth quarter following months of wage-related strike unrest.

Gold and platinum mines, the centre of most of the violence, were hardest hit.

The industry contracted by four percent in the year.

A five percent increase in manufacturing helped the recovery, while animal products dramatically pushed agriculture growth up 10 percent.