South Africa’s Economy Bounces Back: Q1 GDP Up, Job Numbers Rise

South Africa's first-quarter economic growth exceeds expectations
  • South Africa’s economy has shown signs of recovery with a 0.4% increase in GDP in the first quarter of 2023, a development that has been welcomed by the government.
  • The Quarterly Labour Force Survey for Q1 2023 reported an increase of 258,000 in the number of employed people, marking the sixth consecutive quarterly increase.
  • Eight industries, including manufacturing, finance, personal services, transport, and trade, recorded positive growth from January to March 2023, with the manufacturing sector making the largest contribution to the growth in economic output.

In a promising turn of events, South Africa’s economy has shown signs of resilience and recovery, as revealed by the recent GDP figures for the first quarter of 2023. The country’s GDP increased by 0.4 per cent, a development that has been welcomed by the government and the public alike.

Minister in the Presidency, Ms Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, has expressed optimism over this economic uptick, stating that it should serve as inspiration for South Africans grappling with economic challenges. The positive GDP indicators, coupled with the recently published Quarterly Labour Force Survey results, are seen as encouraging signs that the country is making steady progress in line with the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

The Labour Force Survey for Q1 2023 showed an increase of 258,000 in the number of employed people, bringing the total to 16.2 million. This marks the sixth consecutive quarterly increase, a trend that is expected to continue.

Statistics South Africa released figures earlier today showing that eight industries recorded positive growth from January to March 2023. These include manufacturing, finance, personal services, transport, and trade. The manufacturing sector, particularly food and beverages, made the largest contribution to the growth in economic output in the quarter under review.

There were also reported increases in economic activities for wholesale trade, retail trade, and catering and accommodation sectors.

Minister Ntshavheni commented on the growth indicators and the Labour Force Survey, stating, “Today’s growth indicators and the recent Quarterly Labour Force Survey show that while the challenges we face in our economy are serious, we have been able to avoid a downturn in our economic output.”

She further added, “The gains we have seen across a number of sectors tell us that we are rebuilding our economy and that we must keep working together as a nation to build on the growth we are experiencing.”

In conclusion, the Minister emphasized the need for continued effort and optimism, saying, “As we do so, we cannot rest on our laurels, but neither can we let hopelessness and pessimism overwhelm our ability to turn things around.”

This positive economic news comes as a beacon of hope for South Africa, indicating that the country is on the right track towards economic recovery and growth.

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