Economics was referred to by Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle as "the dismal science", so inspired by the view of Malthus, who gloomily predicted that population growth would always outstrip food supply. At a Leaderex Money Summit discussion, I listened to four of SA’s foremost economists: Dawie Roodt of the Efficient Group, Mike Schussler of Economists.co.za, Annabel Bishop of Investec and Adrian Saville of Cannon Asset Managers. They discussed the economic situation in SA and what private investors should be doing. It was truly a dismal outlook. With perfect timing, this discussion took place a few hours before the release of second-quarter GDP figures indicating the country is in the grip of recession. Saville made the point that, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the world economy is growing at 3.7% a year. SA is well below this, and although President Cyril Ramaphosa predicted that 2018 growth would be close to 3%, it looks like it’s coming in at around 1%. Saville al...

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