SA emerged out of 2018 with economic growth of 0.8% — which is slightly higher than expectations. The Bloomberg consensus was for growth of 0.6%, while both the National Treasury and the Reserve Bank expected growth of 0.7%. This is higher than the tepid growth of 0.4% in 2016 but almost half the 1.4% recorded in 2017. Despite the slow growth in 2018, analysts say that the outlook for the economy is likely to improve in 2019, with growth upwards of 1.5% expected on greater political certainty and the continued momentum from the fourth quarter. The growth has been driven by activity in the finance, real estate and business services sector, which was up by 1.8%, and general government services, which was up by 1.3%. In the fourth quarter of 2018, GDP grew by 1.4% bolstered by the manufacturing sector, which grew 4.5%; the finance, real estate and business services sector, which grew by 2.7%; and the transport, storage and communications sector, which grew by 7.7%.

Mining, which ...

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