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After the reality check provided by the medium-term budget as to the sorry state of the country’s public finances, and with rising jitters about global growth, it is hard to be optimistic about the prospects for SA’s economic recovery. Indeed, some warn that world growth may be heading for a sharp slowdown over the next few years. But one economist has raised the counterintuitive possibility that a number of things could finally go right for SA. Coronation economist Marie Antelme thinks the SA consumer could have a bit more breathing space in the months ahead and that SA’s real growth rate could double in 2019. She says that the economic malaise the SA consumer has suffered over the past 10 years has resulted in deleveraging, so that few visible excesses now exist. Credit growth in real terms is low but stable, debt-service costs remain low and household saving has turned positive. All this suggests that consumers have rebuilt a small cushion, she notes in the latest issue of Corona...

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