South Africa’s economic expansion slowed more than forecast to 0.7 percent in the third quarter of 2013, on a quarterly basis, missing expectations of a 1.2 percent growth after witnessing a 3.2 percent growth rate in the previous quarter, official data released on Tuesday showed.
The annual GDP growth rate was pegged at 1.8 percent, slower than the 2.3 percent yearly expansion seen in the previous quarter.
Slower growth in finance, real estate and business services, owing to a slowdown in financial markets, contributed to a lower growth rate, as did a decline in economic activity in the manufacturing industry. However, the mining and quarrying industries, retail and hospitality sectors, and agriculture had a positive effect on growth on a quarterly basis.
In October, South Africa cut its growth forecast for 2013 to 2.1 percent from 2.7 percent estimated in February, amid labor disputes and power shortages that have been crippling Africa’s largest economy.
“The slowdown in economic growth reflects global conditions and domestic factors, including labor disputes and maintenance stoppages in major industries, binding constraints in electricity production and other areas, and declining business confidence,” the Treasury said, in a medium-term budget policy statement released in October.
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“GDP growth is expected to recover over the next three years, reaching 3.5 percent in 2016.”