South African economy shrinks by 2.2% (worst figure in 9 years)

South Africa's economy contracted by 2.2% in the first quarter of 2018 after growing by 3.1% in the last quarter of 2017.

The rand immediately fell by 0.5% when Statistics South Africa made the announcement on Tuesday.

Most economists expected poor figures, due to weakness in agriculture and manufacturing.

The severity of the contraction, however, came as a surprise.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Standard Bank Group Chief Economist Goolam Ballim.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for quotes from it).

This is one of the weakest performances in decades.

Goolam Ballim, Standard Bank

In 2018 we know agriculture won’t be as lively… We won’t have such a big decline in Q2, it will smooth out…

Goolam Ballim, Standard Bank

We’re getting between 1.6% and 1.8% [growth for the year].

Goolam Ballim, Standard Bank

The rear-view mirror does seem somewhat startling, but there has been a policy recalibrating. Looking through the windscreen; we’ll see an acceleration…

Goolam Ballim, Standard Bank

We’re rebuilding structural growth momentum…

Goolam Ballim, Standard Bank

The economy must grow at 1.7% or better to generate per capita GDP growth…

Goolam Ballim, Standard Bank

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