Building sector surges by annualised 15% in third quarter as overall growth slumps to 0.2%

The construction sector has surged in South Africa, despite economic growth in the country reaching a decade low.

Higher interest rates have undermined consumer spending and pushed the retail industry into recession, with economic growth slumping to an annualised 0.2% in the third quarter.

The Bureau for Economic Research said on 20 November that a global recession could push economic growth to 1.9% in 2009 – much lower than the government's forecast of 3% prediction for next year.

However, construction surged by an annualised 15% in the third quarter, climbing 9.1% in the previous three months as the government increased spending on power plants and railways.

The statistics office also said that the finance and real estate industry, which accounts for one-fifth of GDP, rose an annualised 3.2% in the three months to September, compared with 3.3% in the second quarter.