South Africa’s economy grows as farming expands (Q4 2018)

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South Africa’s economy expanded at the end of last year helped by growth in agriculture and manufacturing, data showed on Tuesday, a boost for President Cyril Ramaphosa who has pledged to re-start growth after a decade of stagnation.

Statistics South Africa said the economy grew 1.4 percent in October-December, after expanding by a revised 2.6 percent in the third quarter.

The growth slightly lagged market expectations of a quarter-on-quarter GDP expansion of 1.6 percent, according to a Reuters poll.

The rand extended its session gains after the data, trading 0.51 percent firmer at 14.1275 per dollar as of 0941 GMT.

The statistics agency said farming expanded 7.9 percent in the quarter, while manufacturing rose 4.5 percent. Mining, however, fell 3.8 percent.

On an annual basis, Africa’s most industrialized economy grew by 0.8 percent compared to a revised 1.4 percent expansion in 2017.

Amaka E. Nliam