Country snapshots 2017-18: South Africa

Growth to rebound

Economic growth is projected to rebound in 2017 and strengthen further in 2018, driven by household consumption and investment. In particular, the improvement in electricity production removes bottlenecks and should boost confidence and therefore investment, provided that political uncertainties dissipate. Rising production costs, together with the earlier rand appreciation should weigh on exports. 

The macroeconomic situation is still difficult as growth is weak and inflation is above the central bank’s target. Falling inflation will create scope to ease monetary policy; however, scope for easing may be limited in the short term as the persistent drought is driving up food prices. Lifting barriers to competition and favouring the development of SMEs could boost productivity, employment and living standards. Unless growth accelerates, however, unemployment and inequality will remain very high. 

GDP growth


Current prices ZAR billion




% real change



3 539 0.4 1.1 1.7


©OECD Observer No 308 Q4 2016           

Economic data

GDP growth: -9.8% Q2/Q1 2020 2020
Consumer price inflation: 1.3% Sep 2020 annual
Trade (G20): -17.7% exp, -16.7% imp, Q2/Q1 2020
Unemployment: 7.3% Sep 2020
Last update: 10 Nov 2020

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