South Africa economic growth slows to 0.9%

The BBC's James Copnall says the figures are a "significant blow"

Related Stories

South Africa's economic growth slowed sharply in the first three months of the year.

According to official figures, between January and March, the country's economy grew by just 0.9%, compared with the previous quarter.

The figure has raised concerns that Africa's largest economy is struggling to regain momentum.

It grew by 2.5% last year. Compared with the same three months in 2012, South Africa's economy grew by 1.9%.

Much of the slowdown in growth is being attributed to closures for maintenance in several crucial industries, notably the petroleum sector.

Nicky Weimar, senior economist at Nedbank, said: "To put it mildly, it's a very disappointing number."

"It's a very tricky situation for the monetary policy committee [of the central bank] - growth is obviously a lot weaker than they thought," he added.

Last week, South Africa's Reserve Bank kept interest rates at 5%, saying it was "increasingly concerned" about the economy's "deteriorating outlook".

Inflation is forecast to rise later in the year. It is currently running at 5.9%, just below the government's target of 6%.

Upward pressure is being put on prices by the weakness of the rand, which is at its lowest level in four years.

South Africa's economy has been struggling since a recession in 2009. Violent strikes in the mining sector last year saw output plunge.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories


Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine

  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents

  • Susanne du ToitTop 10 Tips

    Portrait painter Susanne du Toit on being an artist

  • Atletico's Diego Godin celebrates his goal with teammate David VillaWeek in pictures

    The best news photographs from around the world

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world


  • Joe Ierardi playing a pianoClick Watch

    Meet the man trying to create the perfect digital piano - but is it as good as the real thing?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.