SA has officially entered a technical recession. Gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.7% quarter on quarter in the first quarter of 2017 — a shock as the consensus among economists was a rebound to 0.9% growth The rand weakened over 1% against major trading currencies, falling to R12.84 against the dollar, R14.45 against the euro and R16.59 against the pound at 11.41am. A technical recession is based on two consecutive quarters of negative growth. GDP in the fourth quarter of 2016 contracted by 0.3%. The largest negative contributors to growth were the trade, catering and accommodation industry which slumped by 5.9% and detracted 0.8 of a percentage point from GDP growth (down by R16bn to R148bn) and the manufacturing sector contracted by 3.7%, down 0.5 of percentage point from GDP growth (down by R4bn to R129bn).

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