South Africa's real GDP grew by 2.5% in the second quarter of this year following a contraction of 0.6% in the previous quarter, ending our second recession in almost a decade, which is welcome. A closer look at the data shows the uptick was largely underpinned by the positive contribution of the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry. The sector grew by 33.6% quarter on quarter, following 22.2% quarter-on-quarter growth in the first quarter. The figures confirm that the agricultural sector is finally out of the woods, but the same cannot be said of manufacturing and, in particular, metals and engineering. The contribution of manufacturing (including the metals and engineering subcomponents) was modest. The industry grew by 1.5% quarter on quarter after contracting for three consecutive quarters. However, although the most recent GDP figure has been welcomed, it is no cause for celebration, given that most fundamentals still point to an economy slowly recovering from a low base....

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