South African economic output shrank by 51.0% in the second quarter of 2020, its fourth quarterly contraction in a row, as a strict lockdown to curb the coronavirus pandemic shut down most activity, data showed on Tuesday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted a 47.3% contraction in quarter-on-quarter terms.
“This is the first time in history that the South African economy has contracted for four straight quarters,” Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke told a news conference.
Statistics South Africa data showed gross domestic product shrank 17.1% year-on-year in the April-June quarter.
Most sectors declined steeply apart from agriculture, which grew 15.1% in Q2 from January-March. Mining declined 73.1%, manufacturing 74.9% and construction 76.6%.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely curtailed economic activity worldwide, means the outlook for Africa’s most industrialised economy remains gloomy. Official projections are for a contraction of at least 7% this year.