Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Burgeoning economy
I've long believed the notion that our economy was growing significantly faster than we had thought, and that the error was due to miscalculations by Statistics SA. It is incredibly heartening to now learn that the SA economy is growing at 5.6% year on year, as opposed to the 2.5% - 3% that is continually used.

It does however beg the question, how can we afford to have Statistics SA be so wrong? The GDP growth rate is critical to the overall investment perspective of a country, and is a central figure to any financial planning. How can we have let Stats SA underestimate growth by half? It is a critical concern for me, and so should it be for government.

On the more positive side, it's a huge tipped hat to the macroeconomic policies of the Mbeki government and I salute Trevor Manuel for his wisdom and courage to make decisions on our economic growth that often flew in the face of popular consent. With the population growth rate down to 1.3%, the GDP growth rate should allow for significant inroads into unemplyment in South Africa. Don't forget that in the 11 or 12 years before 1993 the South African economy grew at roughly 1% per year. Anyway, even though the growth is largely commodity driven, perhaps the exporters can stop bleating about the rand for a few months.