South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2021 grew by 1.1%, with finance, mining and trade industries leading the economy. This is according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).
The growth follows a revised 1.4% rise in real GDP in the fourth quarter of 2020. On an annualized basis, the economy grew 4.6% quarter-on-quarter. However, the economy was still at 2.7% smaller than it was compared to the first quarter of 2020.
The finance, mining and trade industries were the main drivers of output on the production side of the economy, while household spending and changes in inventories helped spur growth on the expenditure side. The mining industry had a positive quarter with annualized growth of 18.1 percent, boosted by the production of platinum group metals, iron ore, gold and chromium.
Wholesale and retail activity
“On the downside, miners in manganese ore, coal and diamonds recorded lower production figures in the first quarter,” said Stats.
The trade industry growth was mainly due to strong wholesale and retail activity. Wholesalers recorded increases in sales of petroleum, as well as in consumer electronics. Retailers enjoyed a positive quarter, led by increases in sales of grocery products, healthcare services, vitamins and drugs.