Economic Trends/Outlook in South Africa
South Africa is the economic giant of the African continent, contributing nearly 40% to the total African GDP. In the secondary sector, 75% of the biggest African companies are South African. Rebonding after the severe international economic crisis and enjoying the benefits of the organization of the World Football Cup in 2010, the South-African economy has experienced a slight recovery in 2010, with an estimated growth at 3%, with an expectation of a speedier growth in 2011.
The government is mainly focusing on the construction of infrastructure, support of the industry, improvement of labor skills, on speeding up the agricultural reform and reducing criminality. After pursuing the policy of economic stimulus in 2010, the government is planning to tighten its budgetary policy in 2011 and reduce non-priority expenses in order to contain the deficit.
Unemployment, which affects nearly a third of the country's active population and AIDS (infecting nearly 12% of the population) are a cause for major concerns to the country's overall economic development. A third of the population continues to live below the poverty line and social inequalities remain high.
|GDP (billions USD)||283.98||357.26e||383.12e||402.49e||423.78e|
|GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)||-1.7||2.8e||3.5e||3.8e||4.2e|
|GDP per Capita (USD)||5,758e||7,158e||7,585e||7,874e||8,192e|
|General Government Balance (in % of GDP)||-4.8||-5.0e||-4.9e||-4.4e||-3.7e|
|General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP)||30.9||35.7e||39.6e||41.7e||42.8e|
|Inflation Rate (%)||7.1e||4.3e||4.9e||5.8e||5.5e|
|Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force)||24.3||24.8e||24.4e||23.7e||23.5e|
|Current Account (billions USD)||-11.45e||-16.32e||-22.87e||-25.36e||-|
|Current Account (in % of GDP)||-4.0e||-5.0e||-6.7e||-7.0e||-|
Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database
Note: (e) Estimated Data
Main Sectors of Industry
South Africa has a subsoil rich in mineral resources. It is the world's largest producer and exporter of gold and platinum and the 5th largest producer of diamonds. The country produces 70% of the world's platinum and also has 60% of the world's coal reserves.
The country has diverse manufacturing industries and is a world leader in several specialized sectors, including railway rolling stock, synthetic fuels, mining equipment and machinery. The services sector is flourishing (almost two thirds of the GNP) and tourism should continue to grow after the stimulus it has received from the World Football Cup. Agriculture only represents a small part of the GNP but employs 30% of the country's active population. South Africa is the 6th largest producer of wine in the world.
South Africa has a sophisticated financial structure with an active stock exchange that ranks among the world's top 20 in terms of market capitalization. Nevertheless, it has to be pointed out that the Rand weakened considerably during the financial crisis. Consequently, the South African government has put in place funds to support companies to guard against a higher depreciation.
|Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment)||8.8||26.0||64.9|
|Value Added (in % of GDP)||3.0||31.1||65.8|
|Value Added (Annual % Change)||-3.2||-7.2||1.1|
Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.
Indicator of Economic Freedom
- Moderately free
- World Rank:
- Regional Rank:
Sources of General Economic Information
Department of Agriculture
Department of Trade and Industry
Department of Minerals and Energy
Department of Public Enterprises
- Statistical Office
Statistics South Africa
- Central Bank
South African Reserve Bank
- Stock Exchange
JSE Securities Exchange
South African Futures Exchange
Johannesburg Stock Exchange
- Other Useful Resources
The South African government
South African Government Online
South African Department of Foreign Affairs
- Main Online Newspapers
South African Newspapers
Mail and Guardian Online
African Sporting Gazette
List of online newspapers
- Economic Portals
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2012 Commercial Guide for U.S. Companies doing business in South Africa.
U.S. Commercial Service South Africa on 23 Sep 2012 related to Economic Trends/Outlook in South Africa
South Africa, a country well known for its precious metals and agricultural products like fruit and wine, has transformed into a sophisticated manufacturing country.
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) on 1 Jul 2012 related to Economic Trends/Outlook in South Africa
U.S. Department of Commerce, South Africa
Government Trade Promotion, Hong Kong SAR