South African economy registers 1.4% growth

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South Africa's economy grew by 1.4 percent in the third quarter of 2011, a sluggish improvement from the 1.3 percent posted from April to June, the national statistics agency said Tuesday.

The largest contributors to the quarter-on-quarter growth were finance, retail, motor trade and government services, Statistics SA said.

The mining industry contracted by 17.4 percent due to low production across the board, during a period that covers South Africa's "strike season" when unions often take to the streets over contracts that come up for renewal on July 1.

"The growth in finance, real estate and business services was due to activity in the equity, bond and other financial markets," said the agency.

Last month, Africa's largest economy revised the growth forecast for 2011 from 3.4 percent to 3.1 percent, as the country battles to escape the fallout of the global economic downturn.

The country also launched a $3.2 billion package to boost the economy.

© 2011 AFP

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