The Real Economy Bulletin - Fourth Quarter 2017

Main BulletinThe Real Economy Bulletin - Fourth Quarter 2017

In this edition

GDP growth: South Africa’s GDP grew by 0,8% in the fourth quarter of 2017, representing a 1,9% increase from the fourth quarter of 2016. Compared to the previous two years, it signalled three quarters of relatively strong growth. Read more.

Employment: Employment in the real economy was lower in the fourth quarter of 2017 than a year earlier. The job losses occurred in agriculture and construction; manufacturing saw a modest increase in employment; and mining employment remained essentially unchanged. Most of the growth in manufacturing resulted from job creation in food processing and beverages. Read more.

International trade: In 2017, export growth outpaced imports, largely due to a jump in exports of manganese and chrome. As a result, for the past three quarters South Africa has seen a surplus on the balance of trade. In manufacturing, the fastest growth from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017 occurred in clothing, metals and machinery. Read more.  

Investment and profitability: Investment increased in 2017 after declining in 2016. The increase resulted primarily from a modest expansion in private investment, while public investment continued to fall. Read more.

Foreign direct investment projects: The TIPS Foreign Direct Investment Monitor tracks FDI projects, analysing new and updated projects on a quarterly basis. Read more.  

Briefing note: What happened to the recession? Revisions in the latest GDP data effectively wiped out a technical recession initially reported for the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. So what happened to the recession that was initially announced, and what do these revisions mean for our understanding of the GDP data? Read the briefing note online: What happened to the recession?

Briefing note: Bitcoin - Disruptive technology or Ponzi scheme? You can’t miss the Bitcoin hype, at least if you read the financial pages. It comes up regularly in articles, on twitter, at social events and even in conversations over coffee. In some countries institutions are investing in it, while others have banned it. That said, estimates suggest that worldwide, only between three and six million people actually own any of it. Read the briefing note online: Bitcoin - Disruptive technology or Ponzi scheme?

Briefing note: TIPS reviews of manufacturing sub-sectors: TIPS has completed a series of briefing notes on the main manufacturing sub-sectors. These provide information on the contribution to the GDP, employment, profitability and assets, the market structure and dominant producers, major inputs and international trade. Read the briefing note online: Reviews of manufacturing sub-sectors.