Country Analysts

Iraj Abedian
Former Member, President’s Panel of Economic Advisors


Click here to access the latest Macroeconomic Databank

Recent Country Insights

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A 50-basis point increase in the repo rate by the South African Reserve Bank
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 19 May 2022
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has once again announced that it is hiking the benchmark interest rate, by 50 basis points – its largest since the beginning of 2016. This was following this week’s conclusion of its Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) third meeting of the year. The repo rate t...

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A promising start to South Africa’s economy in 2022 following a robust recovery in 2021, but risks have intensified
SOUTH AFRICA - Forecast 28 Apr 2022
• South African growth: South Africa’s economy underwent a robust recovery of 4.9% in real GDP during 2021 from 2020’s deep contraction of 6.4%. On top of growth coming from a low base as well as the recovering global economy acting as a tailwind, South Africa’s growth was also propelled by the s...

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Another 25-bp increase in the repo rate by the South African Reserve Bank
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 25 Mar 2022
The South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced yesterday that it is once again raising the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points – its third consecutive increase. This pushes the repo rate up​ from 4% to 4.25% and the prime lending rate from 7.5% to 7.75%. ...

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South Africa registers a record current account surplus in 2021
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 11 Mar 2022
The current account data released yesterday by the South African Reserve Bank indicates that South Africa’s current account recorded a surplus of R120 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021. This represented another decline in the record surpluses since H2 2020; from R273 billion, R300 billion and...

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The South African economy rebounded strongly in 2021
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 08 Mar 2022
Real GDP figures released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) today indicate that South Africa’s economy grew positively in the final quarter of 2021 following its contraction during the third quarter. During the fourth quarter of 2021, real GDP recorded a growth rate of 1.2% q/q, an indication...

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Budget 2022 showcases a commodity tax bonanza, presents considerable social spend, and an improved debt trajectory for South Africa
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 24 Feb 2022
As he delivered his 2022 State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Ramaphosa made it clear that South Africa is currently facing “extreme fiscal constraints”, and this is the backdrop against which Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana yesterday delivered Budget 2022. Throughout his speech, the M...

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The South African economy at the beginning of 2022: end of Covid-19 fourth wave and more vaccinated, but low confidence persists
SOUTH AFRICA - Forecast 11 Feb 2022
• South African Tourism: Tourism is an important sector of the South African economy (it contributed 3.7% to total GDP in 2019) and it has been one of the sectors most adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Encouragingly, there was an increase in gross travel receipts in the third quarter...

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President Ramaphosa's Statement of National Address (SONA) 2022: More of the Same Correct Analysis, Promises of Reforms, and holding the fiscal line
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 10 Feb 2022 1 response
In his 2-hour SONA, President Ramaphosa delivered a detailed economy-centric speech to the Parliament. Whilst reiterating his administration's commitment to the Constitutional Democracy, he articulated his market-friendly economic ideology more crisply than ever before. "Government does not creat...

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South Africa’s political future and the ANC’s leadership challenges
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 04 Feb 2022
The greatest threat facing South Africa and its future, that is, besides the obvious current threat of the Covid-19 pandemic facing the entire world, is poor governance and leadership misfit. The majority of South Africa’s population that had lived under Apartheid’s atrocious conditions suddenly ...

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