Q2 GDP figures expected to give clearer picture of COVID-19 lockdown impact

There have been varied opinions as to how much the GDP contraction will be for the second quarter.

Gauteng provincial commissioner and Gauteng MEC for community safety Faith Mazibuko together with SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Elias Mawela lead operation “Okae molao” to ensure that the public is complying to the COVID-19 lockdown regulations in Orange Farm and Everton, South of Johannesburg on 30 April 2020. During the operation expired goods and some items are and resold to the public. Pictures Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – South Africans should get a better picture on Tuesday of the damage caused by the COVID-19 lockdown to the economy.

Stats SA is set to release the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) figure for the second quarter, which includes economic activity that came to a halt under the nationwide lockdown.

There have been varied opinions as to how much the GDP contraction will be for the second quarter.

“Our expectation quarter-on-quarter GDP will be a contraction of 33%,” said the chief economist at IQbusiness, Sifiso Skenjana.

Skenjana said that a picture had already emerged.

“We have already seen some of the numbers coming out that speak to the lower levels of economic activity and lower salary payments that point already that the economy is operating at about 20% less,” he said.

In total, the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) is predicting a contraction of around 7.3% for 2020.

The last time a figure of this magnitude appeared for South Africa was in 1931 during the great depression when output fell by 6.2%.

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