JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's economy contracted by 3.2 percent in the first three months of 2019, its largest quarterly drop in a decade, after increasing by 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, the national statistics agency said on Tuesday.
The decline was mainly driven by shrinkages in the manufacturing and mining sectors, Statistics South Africa said, with seven of 10 industries recording negative growth rates.
Manufacturing fell by 8.8 percent in the first quarter, while mining and quarrying industry dropped by 10.8 percent and agriculture, forestry and fishing shaved off 13.2 percent.
Decreases were also recorded in the trades, catering and accommodation sector, wholesale, retail and motor trade as well as transport, storage and communication.
The latest numbers will be worrying for President Cyril Ramaphosa's new cabinet, which faces the daunting task of jumpstarting an economy that has remained anaemic after a recession in 2008/9.