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The latest official data on GDP paints a bleak picture of an economy that was starting to recover more robustly than expected in the first half, but was then savaged by July’s eight days of unrest and third-wave lockdown restrictions in the third quarter.

Now, we face a fourth quarter that will again be hit by a fourth wave of Covid, along with more load-shedding. Stats SA said the economy contracted by a worse-than-expected 1.5% in the third quarter, prompting economists to revise down their forecasts, having previously revised forecasts upwards, to well over 5%. ..

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