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South African statistician-general confirms country’s GDP has decreased by 0.6 percent

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South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) has decreased by 0.6 percent in the third quarter of 2019, Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke, said on Tuesday, 3 December 2019.

Maluleke told a media briefing that “the economy of the country went into a (0.6 percent slump) in the third quarter of 2019, while year-on-year it is sitting at 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent at nine-months-on-nine-months.”

In his Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) report, Maluleke revealed that the community and social services sector accounted for 22.5 percent (23.9 percent share of nominal GDP) of the employment and GDP share per industry.

Trade, finance, manufacturing and private households account for 20.8 percent, 15.2 percent, 10.7 percent, 8.2 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively, while transport accounted for six percent, agriculture 5.4 percent and mining 2.6 percent, Maluleke said.

He told reporters that the mining and quarrying industry decreased by 6.1 percent and contributed -0.5 percent of a percentage point to the GDP growth.

“During this period, a decreased production was reported in the mining of platinum group metals, coal and iron ore,” the statistician-general said.

Releasing the figures, Maluleke said the manufacturing industry decreased by 3.9 percent and contributed -0,5 percent of a percentage point to GDP growth.

The divisions that made the largest contributions to the decrease were basic iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery; petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products; and wood and wood products, paper, publishing and printing, he said. 

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