South African economy represented by a 1 Rand coin printed with colors of the South African flag

South Africa’s economy expanded at the end of last year helped by growth in agriculture and manufacturing, data showed on Tuesday, a boost for President Cyril Ramaphosa who has pledged to re-start growth after a decade of stagnation.

Statistics South Africa said the economy grew 1.4% in October-December, after expanding by a revised 2.6% in the third quarter.

The growth slightly lagged market expectations of a quarter-on-quarter GDP expansion of 1.6%, according to a Reuters poll.

The rand extended its session gains after the data, trading 0.51% firmer at R14.1275 per dollar as of 0941 GMT.

The statistics agency said farming expanded 7.9% in the quarter, while manufacturing rose 4.5 percent. Mining, however, fell 3.8%.

On an annual basis, Africa’s most industrialised economy grew by 0.8% compared to a revised 1.4% expansion in 2017.

EWN