South Africa in Technical Recession in Q1, Data Confirms

By Gabriele Steinhauser Features Dow Jones Newswires

South Africa's economy fell into a technical recession in the first quarter of 2017, the country's statistics office confirmed Tuesday.

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The gross domestic product of Africa's most developed economy shrank at an annualized rate of 0.7% in the first three months of the year, following a contraction of 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2016, the office said.

With two consecutive quarters of negative growth, South Africa's economy now meets the definition of a recession used by most economists. Its last technical recession ended in 2009.

The statistics office said 12.8% output growth in the mining and quarrying industry failed to make up for a 5.9% contraction in the trade, catering and accommodation sector and a 3.7% decline in output from manufacturing.

The disappointing growth reading followed last week's announcement by the statistics office that unemployment spiked to 27.7% in the first quarter--the highest jobless rate since 2003.

Write to Gabriele Steinhauser at gabriele.steinhauser@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 06, 2017 06:13 ET (10:13 GMT)