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South Africa - Economy

Whitaker's Almanack Version

Financial Outlook

According to the IMF’s assessment of October 2013, South Africa’s economy has underperformed other emerging market economies; it is suffering from structural problems that are holding back growth and job creation and exacerbating 25%-plus levels of unemployment in the country. The rand was one of the worst-performing emerging market currencies in 2013, and fiscal and current account deficits have risen strongly. Growth for 2013 will be around 2%, rising to 3% in 2014, with the potential to run at 3.5% over the medium term, the IMF says, as infrastructure investments relieve supply bottlenecks. South Africa is implementing a national development plan that is designed to produce an integrated strategy for structural reforms. Since 2009 the country has averaged 3% growth, in contrast to other emerging market countries which have on average achieved 5%. Growth dipped to 2.5% in 2012 as a result of mining strikes, with GDP growth falling to 0.9% for the first quarter of 2013. Another problem is that all net job creation since 2009 has been in the public sector, while the private sector has still only recovered around two-thirds of the jobs lost in the global financial crisis.

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Further reading on South Africa

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