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"South Africa experienced its last recession during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis with three consecutive quarters of economic decline". As we have said this is a technical recession which is over two consecutive quarters.

However, it is technically the first recession since the financial crisis because the figures for the fourth quarter of 2016 were revised upwards, indicating that SA was not actually in recession a year ago.

The trade industry shrunk for a second straight quarter with output falling 1.9 percent.

Industrials lost 1.76 percent, banks 4.17 percent, general retailers 4.27 percent, and food and drug retailers 2.25 percent, but the gold index added 0.62 percent.

Godongwana says the technical recession is the result of a prolonged trend of slowing economic growth.

The reported data indicate a decline of 0.7 percent in the second quarter of the year, following a first-quarter decline of 2.2 percent.

"Emerging markets are in contagion and the rand is quite weak. ZAR weakness will also increase the odds of a SARB hike going forward, as the ZAR debacle becomes worrisome for the stability of the CPI outlook".

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He also reiterated the outcomes of the party's July lekgotla for its government to take "immediate, concrete and bold steps to lift the rate of growth and its inclusivity by activating micro-economic policy tools, institutional efficiencies and specific sector interventions" to mitigate effects of a contracting economy.

The outcome casts a pall over the country's new leadership, providing an uncomfortable parallel with the initial phase nine years of Ramaphosa's predecessor, Jacob Zuma. "It was exclusively based on expectation that the political changes would down the line result in better outcomes", said Pienaar.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the International Monetary Fund and Chinese President Xi Jinping have all said they recognise the need for land reform in South Africa and urged the country to exercise due care when implementing the policy.

"The gross domestic product numbers pose a particular challenge to President Ramaphosa", said Roland Henwood, a political science lecturer at the University of Pretoria.

Pienaar advised consumers to be prudent with their hard earned money in the coming months.

British American Tobacco rose 2.37 percent to R732.49. I don't think it will be a dramatic increase but the point is, the next move in interest rates are likely to be higher.


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