China News Service Pretoria, March 9 (reporter Wang Xi) South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) will shrink by 7% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 epidemic, according to the latest economic data released by Statistics South Africa in Pretoria on September 9.
Remarkably, this was the biggest drop in South Africa’s GDP since 1920. In 1920, South Africa’s GDP declined by 11.9% due to the post-World War I economic depression. In 2020, South Africa’s economy experienced a sharp decline, mainly related to the nationwide “lockdown order” in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, which severely affected the economic production activities in South Africa.
South Africa’s manufacturing sector suffered the most, with a decline of 11.6% in 2020, resulting in a decline of 1.4 percentage points in GDP. Trade, food and accommodation fell 9.1 per cent, resulting in a 1.3 percentage point drop in GDP; Transportation, storage and communications fell 14.8 percent, contributing to a 1.3 percentage point drop in GDP.
As for South Africa’s economic development prospects in 2021, the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of South Africa and other departments forecast that with the gradual easing of the epidemic, South Africa’s GDP is expected to achieve significant growth in 2021, the growth is expected to be between 2.5% and 5%, but it may take several years for South Africa’s economic performance to recover to the level before the outbreak. In addition, the report notes that South Africa’s economic recovery plan depends to a large extent on the progress of COVID-19 vaccination, the first phase of which is currently being carried out nationwide.
As of press time, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Africa stood at 1,521,068, with 50,678 deaths. (after)