How low can we go? Economists were scrambling to revise down growth forecasts as SA entered its first day of lockdown on Friday. Estimates were that the economy could contract this year by 6% or more. The best-case scenarios were a contraction of 2%-3%.This is a huge swing from the modest positive growth forecasts of a month ago, before the global impact of the Covid-19 virus and the oil price war. Then economists pencilled in mildly negative numbers, which are now being taken down further as they factor in the impact of an almost total shutdown of the economy that some believe could last longer than 21 days. A deep recession would severely affect employment and incomes and would likely lead to SA's public debt spiralling way beyond the already unsustainable numbers pencilled into last month's budget. Ahead of rating agency Moody's scheduled announcement on Friday evening, most economists were expecting a downgrade to junk status - with downgrades by rivals S&P Global Ra...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.