South Africa’s Economy Is $37 Billion Bigger After Revision

South Africa’s economy is 11% bigger than previously estimated, after statistics authorities changed the way they calculate gross domestic product, Bloomberg News reported. GDP at current prices measured 5.52 trillion rand ($369 billion) in 2020, compared with a previous estimate of 4.97 trillion rand, said Joe de Beer, deputy director-general of economic data at Statistics South Africa, told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Pretoria. The economy remains Africa’s second-biggest, lagging behind Nigeria. The upward revision means some key fiscal metrics, including the ratio of debt as a percentage of GDP, may now look better, De Beer said in an interview. Ratios in which GDP is the denominator will decline if the numerator remains the same, he said. The revision means debt as a proportion of GDP will remain below 80% through 2023-24, Annabel Bishop, chief economist at Investec Bank Ltd said in a note. The government projected in February that the ratio would breach the 80% mark in the year through February 2021, and reach 87.3% in the 2024 fiscal year. The budget shortfall for the current fiscal year is now seen at 8.4% of GDP, compared with the National Treasury’s estimate of 9.3%, Bishop said. ​​Read more.