SA recession deepens with GDP in steep 51% drop as lockdown restrictions sting

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus put the economy into its longest recession in 28 years, with the gross domestic product (GDP) contracting more than expected in the second quarter.

GDP shrank an annualised 51 percent in the period through June from the previous quarter, compared with a revised 1.8 percent contraction in the first three months, Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) said on Tuesday.

That is the steepest decline since at least 1990 and extended the recession into a fourth quarter, the longest period of consecutive quarterly contractions since 1992.

The median estimate of 17 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a 47.2 percent drop in output from the previous quarter. Year on year, the economy contracted 17.1 percent, more than the median estimate of 16 percent.

Recession Extended