The South African economy is growing faster—but how fast?


Construction workers. South Africa. Photo: Trevor Samson/World Bank

The South African economy has been off to a good start in 2018. Statistics SA, the country’s national statistical service, released national accounts figures with revisions that pointed to more positive momentum in the economy than previously thought. South Africa grew by 1.3% in 2017, beating the consensus estimate of economists, and the revised numbers no longer record a technical recession early in the year.

Confidence is up in 2018, as the new political leadership under President Cyril Ramaphosa has demonstrated a strong commitment to strengthening institutional integrity—especially in state-owned enterprises—reaching out both to business and labor, and pronouncing his intention to build a new social compact in…

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