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The combination of economic and political developments over the past 12 months in SA has generated particular interest in the outlook for the economy in 2020. What are some of the relevant factors to be taken into account as the next year unfolds? 2019 was the year in which the bad news about the economy outweighed the good. Consequently, SA’s GDP growth rate too often found itself in negative territory during the year.

More recently, the poor GDP growth of -0.6% in the third quarter of 2019 was followed in the fourth by weak manufacturing and mining data, sagging retail turnovers, meagre new-vehicle sales, as well as continued low business confidence. These trends suggest SA will struggle to even reach the previously revised, generally low forecasts of 0.5% growth for 2019, a growth rate that may now, in fact, yet fall lower...

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