JOHANNESBURG, June 6 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP) increased 0.4 percent on a quarter-on-quarter basis in the first quarter of 2023 (Q1), following a decrease of 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter last year, official data showed Tuesday.
Eight industries saw increases in Q1, with manufacturing, finance, real estate and business services making up the majority of the gains, according to the data released by Statistics South Africa.
The manufacturing industry increased 1.5 percent in the first three months, contributing 0.2 percentage points to the GDP growth, while the finance, real estate and business services industries increased 0.6 percent, also contributing 0.2 percentage points to the growth of the country's GDP.
In Q1, the growth rate for the personal services industry and the transport, storage and communication industry stood at 0.8 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, the data showed.
Exports of goods and services increased 4.1 percent, driven by increased trade in base metals and articles of base metals, vegetable products, prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco, machinery and electrical equipment, while the imports of goods and services rose 4.4 percent, largely influenced by increased trade in machinery and equipment, chemical products, vehicles and transport equipment, as well as prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco.
Dawie Roodt, an economist with Efficient Group, a wealth management company in South Africa, said the 0.4 percent growth was horrible as the economic growth rate was below the population growth.
The South African Reserve Bank, the country's central bank, forecasted that the South African economy would grow 0.3 percent in 2023, citing power cuts as the main reason behind it.