The shocking 2.2% contraction in real GDP growth in the first quarter suggests that more will have to be done to turn the positive sentiment engendered by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s election into economic activity.The Bloomberg consensus was for first-quarter growth to slow by 0.5%, with forecasts ranging between -2% and 2%. The 2.2% fall, the largest quarterly decline since the global financial crisis, will likely cause some downward revision to full-year growth forecasts.Strong base effects meant the first-quarter figure was never going to be robust. However, growth slowed in nearly every subsector, with only less weak activity occurring in the services sector thanks mainly to increased public sector employment."We view the poor first-quarter GDP performance as an unhelpful bump in what is still likely to be a slowly improving road for the SA economy," says BNP Paribas economist Jeffrey Schultz.The fact that the slowdown was broad based "clearly highlights that the economy is no...

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