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Reserve Bank officials say SA economy not out of the woods yet

Reserve Bank officials say SA economy not out of the woods yet

PARLIAMENT – The South African Reserve Bank on Tuesday said the economy was not expected to grow more than 0.6 percent in the current year, and while the country avoided a technical recession it was still facing downward pressure.

"The positive message from the last GDP numbers is that we are not in recessionary territory, but we are not out of the woods yet," deputy central bank governor Rashad Cassim said. 

"We are still seeing significant downward pressure, especially from the global economy," he told Parliament's standing committee on finance.

The South African economy grew by 3.1 percent in the second quarter, after contracting for two consecutive quarters.

Deputy governor Fundi Tshazibana noted that an improvement in some commodity prices could support short-term expansion but said annual growth was not expected to exceed 0.6 percent and expansion over the next three years was forecast at between 1.8 percent and 2.0 percent.

"We are still seeing significant downward pressure, especially from the global economy," he said.

SARB officials declined to comment on a 77-page policy paper on boosting economic growth and employment released for public comment by the National Treasury late last month.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has come under fire from the political left over the proposals, which include easing the labour environment.

African News Agency (ANA)