JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's economy grew by 3.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019 after contracting by a revised 3.1 percent in the first three months, helped by the mining sector which recorded its strongest growth since 2016, the national statistics agency said on Tuesday.
Statistics South Africa said mining was up 14.4 percent, followed by the finance sector which added 4.1 percent and trade which gained 3.9 percent during the quarter.
Agriculture however fell by 4.2 percent on the back of the lower production of field crops and horticultural products. This was its second straight quarter of shrinking.
"Overall, the growth in the first half of the year was up by 0.4 percent," Stats SA chief director for national accounts Michael Manamela said.
The aversion of a technical recession -- which occurs when GDP contracts for two consecutive quarters -- is a ray of light for an economy that has struggled to grow meaningfully since slumping into a full year recession during a 2008/9 global crisis.