Former finance minister Malusi Gigaba's parting line, "We gonna be right, we gonna be alright", may be coming to fruition, but the pace of economic growth could fall short if US interest rates rise and political change in South Africa stalls. The National Treasury in its February budget indicated that GDP growth for 2017 would come in at 1% - higher than the 0.7% forecast at the time of the medium-term budget policy statement in October last year. But GDP growth is unlikely to better the 2.5% registered in the second quarter of 2017. Rather, it could range between 2% and 2.5%, according to some expectations. In the first quarter of last year GDP contracted -0.7%, while in the third quarter it was 2%. John Ashbourne, Africa economist at Capital Economics, said this week that manufacturing and retail sales data during the fourth quarter had been quite strong and could boost the GDP rate for the period. He said the full-year rate, which Stats SA will release on Tuesday along with fourt...

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