GDP showed some resilience in Q4 20

  • The increase was somewhat better than expected than Bloomberg consensus expectations of 5.6%q/q saar and ICIBs forecast of 7.3% despite renewed lockdown measures in late December 2020. The risk to the forecast was on the downside and the outcome indicates that support provided by monetary and fiscal measures.  

    GDP was 4.1% lower than in the same quarter in the previous year and remained 4.2% below its pre-pandemic level in December 2019. The latter represents some improvement from a contraction of 17.0% and 5.6% in the preceding two quarters compared to Q4 2019.

    The level of GDP in Q4 20 was at the same level as in Q2 2014, considering that the economy had contracted from Q4 2019 on an annual basis and recorded an average rate of growth of 0.8% from 2015 to 2019 and 1.8% in 2014.

    In 2020, South Africa’s GDP contracted by 7.0%y/y. This was better than Bloomberg’s consensus forecast in September 2020 of -8.5% and the latest estimates of -7.2%. The outcome was also marginally better than the SARB’s and National Treasury’s estimates of -7.1% and -7.2%.

    Nominal GDP contracted by 2%y/y, which was also better than National Treasury's forecast of -2.8%, supported by a rise in the terms of trade.

    The gross operating surplus declined by 3.1%y/y in 2021.

    Compensation declined by 1.2%y/y in 2021.