The South African economy has gone into recession after official figures showed that it contracted an annualised 6.4% in the first three months of 2009, the BBC reported. Africa's biggest economy shrank 1.8% in the previous three months, compared with the same period a year before. The first-quarter figure was the biggest decline since 1984 and puts South Africa in its first recession since 1992. "It's far worse than we expected," said Elna Moolman, economist at Barnard Jacobs Mellet. "It confirms the recession in the economy and certainly increases concerns about overall growth for 2009, given such a bad start for the year." Read more.