SA claws its way out of recession with 2.2% GDP growth

Back on track: South Africa pulls out of recession as economy surges

GDP growth of 2.2% in third quarter sees SA get out of recession

The economy is officially out of recession.

The rand firmed by as much as 1% shortly after the release of the results.

Here's what boosted growth in the third quarter.

Stats SA lumps the following under manufacturing: iron and steel, metal products and machinery, wood, paper and publishing; petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products; and motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment. Mining contracted 8.8%, however.

During the third quarter, increased production in field crops, horticultural and animal products, helped improve growth to 6.5%. Cyril Ramaphosa's ascent to power - first as leader of the ruling African National Congress in December and as President in February - bolstered sentiment and the rand following Jacob Zuma's scandal-ridden tenure of nearly nine years, but indexes show confidence has waned as businesses seek real reforms. The construction sector shrank by 2.7%, however.

The largest negative contributors to second-quarter GDP growth were the agriculture industry, which plunged 29.2 percent, followed by the transport industry, which declined 4.9 percent and trade which decreased 1.9 percent.

Also within the tertiary sector, the finance, real estate and business services industry continued its growth trend, increasing by 2.3% during the quarter.

"Perceived domestic political and policy uncertainty have been a contributing factor to South Africa's modest economic performance", Investec Bank Ltd economist Kamilla Kaplan said.

Recoveries in manufacturing and trade are expected to drive growth momentum in Africa's most industrialized economy. Government expenditure grew by 2.2%, while household expenditure grew by 1.6%.

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