The SA economy’s full-year performance will be revealed on Tuesday when StatsSA publishes the remaining GDP data for 2018 but, as important, will be the outcome of the energy regulator’s multi-year electricity tariff decision on Thursday. The consensus expectation is that the economy posted growth of only about 1.2%-1.8% quarter-over-quarter in the fourth quarter, a considerable slowdown from the post-recession rebound of 2.2% quarter-over-quarter achieved in the third quarter. However, forecasting quarterly GDP growth is tricky since economists can capture only 40% of the required data upfront, so have to model the rest. “There is even greater forecast risk for the fourth-quarter GDP [number] given that this is when StatsSA implements substantial data revisions,” explains Citi Bank economist Gina Schoeman. She expects fourth-quarter GDP to be 1.1%. If so, GDP growth for 2018 will come in at a desultory 0.7% compared to the 1.3% achieved in 2017. Capital Economics economist John Ash...

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