World Bank raises South Africa 2018 growth forecast to 1.4 pct

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The World Bank on Tuesday raised its 2018 economic growth forecast for South Africa to 1.4 percent, from an earlier forecast of 1.1 percent growth.

The international lender said the improved forecast was supported by a rise in confidence, global growth and benign inflation.

In its previous report released in October, the World Bank said the economy of sub-Saharan Africa was seen growing more slowly this year than previously forecast, largely due to weak investment and productivity.

Investor confidence in Africa’s most industrialised economy has been boosted since President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected in February after the ruling African National Congress ousted the scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma.

Gains in the rand currency have helped to contain inflation and enabled the central bank cut its main interest rate by 25 basis points to 6.5 percent last month.

Statistics South Africa said the economy grew 3.1 percent in October-December, the highest rate since the second quarter of 2016, after expanding by a revised 2.3 percent in the third quarter.