South Africa entered its second recession in just two years in the final quarter of last year, as data obtained on Tuesday showed contraction in agriculture, transport and construction. According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), the economy shrank 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter, following a revised 0.8 percent contraction in the third quarter.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, agriculture declined 7.6 percent, transport 7.2 percent, construction 5.9 percent, electricity 4 percent and retail 3.8 percent, the data showed. Gross domestic product overall shrank 0.5 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter after expanding 0.1 percent the quarter before. The economy expanded 0.2 percent in the 2019 calendar year compared with 0.8 percent in 2018.
The International Monetary Fund last year urged South Africa to make “decisive” reforms to boost private investment in the country, forecasting economic growth to remain sluggish for a sixth consecutive year in 2020.