Following a revised 1,0% rise in real gross domestic product in the first quarter (January – March), the South African economy recorded its fourth consecutive quarter of growth, expanding by 1,2% in the second quarter of 2021 (April–June). The results from this release cover the months of April, May and June and do not include the economic impact of the severe economic disruption, protest action and violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, which took place in July.

Despite the gains made over the last four quarters, the economy is 1,4% smaller than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking at the chart below it is evident that the lockdown restrictions during the second quarter of 2020 caused a sudden and severe drop in economic activity.  While the economy has seen consistent growth since that shock, it is not enough to return to pre-COVID-19 levels. Real GDP was R1 131 billion in the second quarter of 2021, 1,4% down from the reading in the first quarter of 2020.

For more information, download the Q2: 2021 GDP release and media presentation here.