A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask crosses the street in Pretoria.

South Africas economy contracted the most in a century in 2020 as restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic ravaged output and disrupted trade.

Gross domestic product shrank 7%, compared with a 0.2% expansion in 2019, according to a report released by Statistics South Africa Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. Thats the biggest decline since 1920, when output dropped by 11.9% during the two-year post-World War I recession, central bank data shows.

GDP expanded an annualized 6.3% in the three months through December from the previous quarter, following a revised 67.3% increase in the three months through September. The median estimate of 15 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a 5.6% increase. GDP contracted 4.1% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, which means output is still down from 2019.

Steep Decline

South Africa’s economy contracted the most in 100 years in 2020

Source: South African Reserve Bank, Statistics South Africa

Other Key Points:

  • Expenditure on GDP grew annualized 6.5% quarter-on-quarter in 4Q.
  • Household spending rose annualized 7.5%.
  • Fixed capital formation grew annualized 12.1%.
  • Agriculture industry rose annualized 5.9% quarter-on-quarter in 4Q.
  • Mining fell annualized 1.4%.
  • Manufacturing rose annualized 21.1%.
  • Trade industry rose annualized 9.8%.
  • Finance industry fell annualized 0.2%.

With assistance by Simbarashe Gumbo

(Updates to add sectors performance and chart)

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