South Africa’s economy grew 3.8% q/q on a seasonally adjusted and annualised basis in the fourth quarter of 2013, quickening from a 0.7% q/q rise in Q3 and 3.2% q/q growth in Q2, preliminary data from Statistics South Africa showed on Feb 25.
The mining and quarrying industry was the main growth engine in Q4, expanding 15.7% q/q following a 5.4% quarterly contraction in Q2 and an 11.4% q/q expansion in Q3. The mining and quarrying industry contributed 0.8pps to the overall economic growth. Mining and quarrying industry growth was boosted by higher production in the mining of gold, other metal ores (including platinum) and other mining and quarrying (including diamonds).
The second biggest contributor to the GDP growth was the manufacturing sector, which expanded by 12.3% q/q in Q4, up from a 11.7% q/q rise in Q2 and 6.6% contraction in Q3, reflecting higher production of food and beverages, petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products, and motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment.
The finance, real estate and business services sector, which expanded by 1.5% q/q, contributed 0.3pps to the overall GDP growth, down from a 3.5% q/q expansion in Q2, however, up from 1.3% q/q expansion in Q3. This was due to increased activities in commercial banks.
The wholesale, retail and motor trade industry contributed 0.3pps to the GDP growth, based on an increase of 2.3% q/q.
On an unadjusted year-on-year basis, economic growth edged up to 2.0% in Q4 from 1.8% in Q3, however, compared unfavourably with 2.3% in Q2.
The sectors with the best performance were the mining and quarrying industry (up 9.4%), the construction industry (up 4.5%), and the wholesale, retail and motor trade, catering and accommodation industry (up 2.1% y/y).
In 2013 as a whole, South African economy grew 1.9% y/y, slowing from 2.5% the year before.
The largest industries, as measured by their nominal value added in 2013, were the finance, real estate and business services with 21.5%, the general government services with 17.1%, the wholesale, retail and motor trade and catering and accommodation industry with 16.6%, and the manufacturing industry with 11.6%.
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