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South Africa:
Economy

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South Africa Page


Economy - overview
Definition
South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; a stock exchange that is 17th largest in the world; and modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region. Growth has been robust since 2004, as South Africa has reaped the benefits of macroeconomic stability and a global commodities boom. However, unemployment remains high and outdated infrastructure has constrained growth. At the end of 2007, South Africa began to experience an electricity crisis because state power supplier Eskom suffered supply problems with aged plants, necessitating "load-shedding" cuts to residents and businesses in the major cities. Daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era - especially poverty, lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups, and a shortage of public transportation. South African economic policy is fiscally conservative but pragmatic, focusing on controlling inflation, maintaining a budget surplus, and using state-owned enterprises to deliver basic services to low-income areas as a means to increase job growth and household income.
GDP (purchasing power parity)
Definition - World rank and map
$467.1 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
Definition
$282.6 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
Definition - World rank and map
5.1% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita
Definition - World rank and map
$9,800 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
Definition
agriculture: 3.2%
industry: 31.3%
services: 65.5% (2007 est.)
Labor force
Definition
20.49 million economically active (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
Definition
agriculture: 9%
industry: 26%
services: 65% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate
Definition - World rank and map
24.3% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line
Definition
50% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
Definition
lowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 44.7% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
Definition - World rank and map
65 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
Definition - World rank and map
7.1% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed)
Definition - World rank and map
20.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget
Definition
revenues: $68.2 billion
expenditures: $66.7 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt
Definition - World rank and map
31.3% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products
Definition
corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
Industries
Definition
mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate
Definition - World rank and map
4.4% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production
Definition - World rank and map
264 billion kWh (2007)
Electricity - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
241.4 billion kWh (2007)
Electricity - consumption per capita
Definition - World rank and map
5,513.2 kWh (2007)
Electricity - exports
Definition
13.42 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports
Definition
11.32 billion kWh (2007)
Oil - production
Definition - World rank and map
200,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
519,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - consumption per 1,000 people
Definition - World rank and map
11.9 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports
Definition - World rank and map
217,700 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports
Definition - World rank and map
319,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
Definition - World rank and map
15 million bbl (1 January 2007 est.)
Natural gas - production
Definition - World rank and map
2.11 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
Definition - World rank and map
2.11 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption per capita
Definition - World rank and map
48 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports
Definition - World rank and map
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves
Definition - World rank and map
27.16 million cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance
Definition - World rank and map
-$20.56 billion (2007 est.)
Exports
Definition - World rank and map
$76.27 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities
Definition
gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
Exports - partners
Definition
US 12.1%, Japan 10.1%, China 8.6%, UK 8.4%, Germany 6.5%, Italy 4.9% (2006)
Imports
Definition - World rank and map
$82.12 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities
Definition
machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs
Imports - partners
Definition
Germany 12.2%, China 9.5%, US 6.9%, Japan 5.8%, Saudi Arabia 5.4%, UK 5.3%, Iran 4.1% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
Definition - World rank and map
$32.98 billion (31 December 2007)
Debt - external
Definition - World rank and map
$39.71 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
Definition
$93.47 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
Definition
$53.93 billion (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
Definition
$842 billion (January 2008)
Economic aid - recipient
Definition
$700 million (2005)
Currency (code)
Definition
rand (ZAR)
Exchange rates
Definition
rand per US dollar - 7.05 (2007), 6.7649 (2006), 6.3593 (2005), 6.4597 (2004), 7.5648 (2003)
Fiscal year
Definition
1 April - 31 March


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