Anyone looking to December’s data releases for pointers on the outlook for SA’s economy in 2024 might have been simultaneously upbeat and downbeat. On the downside, the economic growth rate in 2023 could come in worse than expected earlier last year. On the upside, 2024 can only be better — even if the economy will still be weak, and subject to big uncertainties, global and local.

After a stronger than expected first half, the numbers showed the economy weakened again in the second half of 2023. December was something of a litany of woe. Stats SA reported the economy contracted in the third quarter. The S&P Global purchasing managers index showed output during the month fell at the fastest pace since May because of gridlock at the ports. ..

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