S. African economy expected to grow 1.3 pct in 2019: World Bank
JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 10 — South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow 1.3 percent in 2019, said World Bank in its Global Economic Prospects report released on Tuesday evening.
“South Africa is projected to accelerate modestly to a 1.3 percent pace, amid constraints on domestic demand and limited government spending. High unemployment and slow growth in household credit extension are expected to constrain domestic demand in 2019,” the bank stated.
While the country’s economic growth has been sluggish for more than five years, predictions show that this trend would continue for the coming years. The growth is projected to be at 1.7 percent and 1.9 percent in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
While South Africa’s growth would be moderate, the sub-Saharan Africa region’s growth is expected to accelerate to 3.4 percent this year. Nigeria and Angola are predicted to grow 2.2 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.
Jannie Rossouw, head of School of Economics and Business Science at Wits University, told Xinhua that South Africa needs policy certainty to boost its economic growth.
“The year’s growth projection is much better that the 2018 version. It shows that we are on a rising growth trajectory, but we need much more higher growth to make inroads into unemployment. The government needs to urgently re-think its economic policy,” Rossouw added.
South Africa’s GDP growth rebounded to 2.2 percent in the third quarter after recovering from a technical recession in the first half of 2018.
In December, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni reached out to leading economists and other experts in an effort to come up with new ideas that would boost the struggling economy.