The Real Economy Bulletin - Second Quarter 2022

Main Bulletin: The Real Economy Bulletin - Second Quarter 2022

In this edition

GDP growth: The GDP shrank by 0.7% in the second quarter of 2022, mostly due to large-scale loadshedding, the floods in May in KwaZulu-Natal, and flat government spending. Value added fell in all of the real economy sectors, with agriculture the hardest hit. Manufacturing contracted by just under 6%. Construction remained depressed, apparently mostly due to stagnant investment by state-owned companies. Tourism continues to lag far behind pre-pandemic levels. Read More

Employment: According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), in the second quarter of 2022 the formal sector still employed 600 000 fewer people than before the pandemic, or 5.5% less. Informal and agricultural employment, in contrast, were down by only 1%, but there were still more than 10% fewer domestic workers. Manufacturing employment appeared to have stabilised at a lower level than before the pandemic, with employment particularly depressed in metals and food processing compared to 2019. Read More

International trade: South Africa’s surplus in goods trade has continued to narrow as prices for export commodities have declined, with logistics challenges affecting coal and auto, while the cost of petroleum remains comparatively high. Read More

Investment: Private investment has begun to grow again, although public investment remains flat. As a result, the investment rate climbed from 13% in the second quarter of 2021 to 14% a year later. Meanwhile, the average return on assets improved for most of the economy in the year to March 2022. Read More

Foreign direct investment projects: The TIPS Foreign Direct Investment Tracker monitors FDI projects on a quarterly basis, using published investment information. Seven of the 11 projects recorded this quarter reported on the value of the investment, for a total of R10.6 billion. Eight projects that were previously captured in the Tracker have been updated. Read More

Briefing Note: Global commodity prices and the South African economy:  Commodity prices have soared to the highest level in two decades due to supply constraints driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. South Africa's major export prices have risen in tandem.Read the Briefing Note online: Global commodity prices and the South African economy

Briefing Note: Progress on the Sugar Master Plan: It has been almost four years since the relaunch of industrial policy to focus on stand-alone industry master plans. This briefing note tracks the progress of the sugar plan, signed by stakeholders in November 2020, using published information. Read the Briefing Note online: Progress on the Sugar Master Plan