South Africa's ratings downgrades by S&P Global and Fitch Ratings will lead to an economic slowdown in neighbouring countries, whose fortunes are closely linked to those of the regional giant. Analysts say the latest economic headwinds in South Africa brought on by the credit ratings downgrades could destroy the "green shoots" that had been emerging in members of the Southern African Development Community. The region is expecting bumper harvests after recovering from its worst drought in 40 years and apparently seeing off threats to agriculture posed by pests such as the fall armyworm. It has also benefited from a mild recovery in commodity prices, and was hoping to share in the improved growth of 2.9% (up from 1.5% last year) that the World Bank had forecast for sub-Saharan Africa this year. But these hopes have dimmed amid fear of recession in South Africa in light of the credit downgrades this month that followed President Jacob Zuma's firing of finance minister Pravin Gordhan. S...

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