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'Not enough visibility on vaccine rollout for SA to instill economic confidence'

31 March 2021 6:51 PM
Tags:
SA Economy
Recession
The Money Show
World Bank
Economic growth
Kevin Lings
Pandemic
Arabile Gumede
COVID-19
economic recovery
vaccine rollout
Q1 2021

Economist Kevin Lings (Stanlib Asset Management) gives South Africa an economic 'report card' as Quarter 1 draws to a close.

As the Covid pandemic hit, South Africa's economy contracted by 7% in 2020.

Gross domestic product growth is expected to rebound to 3% in 2021, according to the World Bank.

RELATED: SA economy shrank by 7% in 2020, but managed to grow in Q4

As we reach the end of Quarter 1, The Money Show gets a "report card" from Kevin Lings (Chief Economist at Stanlib Asset Management).

Lings notes that while South Africa ended 2020 with some positive growth, this momentum has not been sustained into the first quarter of 2021.

It's struggling to get going in terms of building up any economic momentum.

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management

Lings lists the most important factors contributing to this sluggishness.

Success with a Covid-19 vaccine rollout is a critical factor for any country he says.

We don't really have enough visibility on the vaccine rollout in order to instill confidence. When we look at other countries around the world - the more they can distribute the vaccine, confidence definitely comes back.

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management

Electricity outages keep hindering any buildup of momentum.

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management

Another factor is the unrest we've had - quite a few municipal service delivery protests; student protests... That clearly pushes back on any confidence and momentum.

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management

Lings believes 3% growth this year is achievable, but this must be seen against the background of the 2020 contraction.

It sounds great as a percentage because it's well above anything that we've achieved in recent years, but we've got to keep reminding ourselves that we declined by 7%, so if you grow by 3/4% you're still a long way away from where you were before Covid.

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management

At this stage you would factor in another year of 3%, and then you're still not back at the level you were at. So you're looking at 2023 before you get economic activity going back to the 2019 level, which wasn't all that impressive.

Kevin Lings, Chief Economist - Stanlib Asset Management

Listen to Lings' insights in the interview below:




31 March 2021 6:51 PM
Tags:
SA Economy
Recession
The Money Show
World Bank
Economic growth
Kevin Lings
Pandemic
Arabile Gumede
COVID-19
economic recovery
vaccine rollout
Q1 2021

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