SA has emerged from what has been widely described as a “technical recession”, with the three months to end-September showing quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualised growth of 2.2%, which is respectably higher than the 1.6% increase anticipated. This is a big relief but it is by no means a solution and it doesn’t come close to a clear indication that SA is on its way to a higher growth trajectory. Because of the surprising degree of the contraction in the first quarter and the fact that the second quarter was also negative, SA will be lucky to record 1% growth for the full year. This is a substantial underperformance compared with the 1.5% growth that then finance minister Malusi Gigaba expected in the budget in February. SA is, to put it bluntly, in an economic holding pattern and very little we have seen from the government suggests a decisive breakout is on the cards any time soon. Getting a bit of a growth boost will be castigated by no-one, but one swallow does not a ...

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