Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The South African economy shrunk by 2.2% in the first quarter, compared with a 3.1% expansion in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Statistics SA data.

This marks the largest quarter-on-quarter decline since the 2008-09 financial crisis. The largest negative contributors to GDP growth were agriculture, mining and manufacturing, while finance, government, business services and real estate all made positive contributions.

The Treasury expects growth of 1.7% for the year, while the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects growth of 1.5% or more.

Citadel chief economist Maarten Ackerman spoke to Business Day TV about the numbers and what they mean.

Citadel chief economist Maarten Ackerman talks to Business Day TV about the first-quarter GDP data and what they mean

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