As usual, when GDP statistics were released this week, there were various analyses of what this means for South Africa. The obvious interpretation of an economy growing at less than the country’s population growth, which is captured in GDP per capita, is that South Africans are getting poorer.

In simple terms, when the country is adding more people at a faster rate than the growth of economic resources to support those people, on average everyone is getting poorer. This is visible in declining service delivery levels, public infrastructure decay, and the general psyche of the nation which is downbeat as the fourth quarter FNB/BER consumer confidence index shows — it’s at -17 index points and the lowest festive-season confidence in two decades.  ..

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