National Treasury revised the economic growth forecast for 2018 downwards to 0.7 percent from the 1.3 percent predicted in February. Photographer:Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

PARLIAMENT - South Africa's National Treasury on Wednesday revised the economic growth forecast for 2018 downwards to 0.7 percent from the 1.3 percent predicted in February.

"The economic outlook is weaker than projected in the 2018 budget, although GDP growth is expected to recover gradually to 2.3 percent by 2021 as confidence grows and investment gatheres pace," a medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS), tabled in parliament by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said.

The downward revision is due to a fall in mining and agriculture production and "a lack of new investment".

The National Treasury said it expected moderate growth in agriculture and mining, combined with improving business and consumer confidence.

"Despite lower commodity prices, the resolution of several longstanding policy issues over the past six months is expected to support investment in mining and energy," it said.

"Higher agricultural output is expected as a result of improved rainfall in the Western Cape this year."

The economic stimulus and recovery package announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa was also expected to help bolster economic growth over the next three years.

- African News Agency (ANA)