Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has released the gross domestic product (GDP) figure for the second quarter, which shows economic growth of 1.2% quarter-on-quarter and 19.3% year-on-year, compared with minus 2.6% year-on-year in the first quarter.

However, the GDP figure must be seen in the context of Statistics South Africa having recently rebased GDP to ensure that it remains reflective of the South African economy, given structural changes that occur in the economy over time.

Despite 4 consecutive quarters of growth, the #economy is 1,4% smaller than it was before the #COVID19 pandemic. Join DDG: Econ Stats Joe de Beer on @radio786online at 12h12 as he unpacks the latest #GDP figures.

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— Stats SA (@StatsSA) September 7, 2021

This means that Stats SA is using 2015 as the new base year for GDP.

In August, Statistics South Africa said the revised level of GDP at current prices shows that the South African economy was 11% larger in 2020 than previously estimated.

The upward GDP level revision came after Stats SA finalised an overhaul of its national accounts through a rebasing and benchmarking exercise.

Stats SA said the rebasing exercises ensure that the tools used to measure GDP takes into account the changing face of the economy and Industries.

Chief Director at Stats SA, Micheal Manamela says rebasing exercise still shows the severe impact of COVID-19 in 2020 –  which resulted in a now revised 6,4% contraction of the economy.

“If you look at the different years, we’ve revised for many years. So I was giving you the 9,2% which was for the base year which is 2015.  In 2011 indeed it was up by 11%. So our survey program we’ve got our monthly survey which is there to assist you to measure quarterly growth, they’re not very comprehensive. For example, all you have is to say maybe for this type of retailer what was their sales? But it doesn’t give you the correct measure or accurate measure of the concept of GDP which is basically value-added.”