S. Africa GDP May Weaken in Fourth Quarter, Mminele Says

South Africa’s economic growth will probably continue to slow in the fourth quarter as the impact of mining strikes filters through the economy, Deputy Central Bank Governor Daniel Mminele said.

“The negative impacts of the strike action on growth have not fully fed through and we are likely to see further weakness in the quarter ahead,” Mminele said, according to a copy of a speech he gave today posted on the Reserve Bank’s website. “Both business and consumer confidence are far from robust and it is unlikely that the demand side of the economy will provide much support.”

South Africa’s Reserve Bank held the benchmark lending rate at 5 percent last week as inflation remained near the top of the bank’s target of 3 percent to 6 percent, limiting policy makers’ ability to stimulate the economy. Gross domestic product expanded at an annualized 1.2 percent in the third quarter, the slowest pace since the 2009 recession, the statistics office said yesterday.

Walkouts at gold and platinum mines this year have cost the economy more than 10 billion rand ($1.1 billion) in lost output and will probably shave about 0.5 percentage point off growth, according to estimates by the National Treasury.

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