JOHANNESBURG – The economy of South Africa grew a greater-than-expected 1.3 percent in 2017, according to official data released by Stats SA on Tuesday.
The percentage exceeded the 1 percent gross domestic product growth predicted by the country’s government last month.
“In a time when good news seems hard to come by, the latest GDP results provide some cautious cheer,” a Stats SA statement said.
“After a wobbly start to 2017, which saw economic activity contract in the first quarter, the economy saw sustained growth for the remainder of the year,” the report said. “The fourth quarter experienced the highest growth rate of 2017.”
The economy of South Africa, the second largest in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria, expanded 3.1 percent in the last quarter of 2017.
The strengthening of economic activity last year was due, in part, to the recovery of the agricultural sector after it suffered “one of the worst droughts in recent history,” Stats SA said.
Furthermore, the financial and mining industries also boosted GDP growth.