SA’s recession became further entrenched in the first quarter of this year, well before Covid-19 struck, with real GDP growth contracting by 2% quarter on quarter — the economy’s third consecutive quarterly contraction.

But this is nothing compared to the collapse in growth predicted for the second quarter, which coincided with the strictest part of SA’s lockdown. Economic activity is likely to have contracted by more than 30% q/q, which would be a record...

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