Source: Ed Stoddard, Business Maverick, 10 January 2021 (the article first appeared in Daily Maverick 168), photo credit: The Economist Intelligence Unit
South Africa’s fragile economy is already off to a stumbling start in 2021. The economy began 2020 mired in recession and the hard lockdown imposed in late March triggered a contraction of 51% on an annualised basis in the second quarter.
The relaxation of lockdown regulations saw a 66% rebound in the third quarter (Q3), but a lot of ground remains lost. Estimates generally peg the 2020 contraction at between 8% and 10%. With renewed lockdown measures, the return of load shedding, mounting debt and shattered confidence, the outlook for 2021, with a few exceptions, is bleak.
Here are five key factors to look out for this year that will have an impact on the economy, your bank account and your best-laid plans.