Real GDP growth contracted by 6.4% quarter-on-quarter from -1.8% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2008. On a year-on-year basis, the indicator came in at -1.3% in the first quarter of 2009 from 1% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Mining and manufacturing were the main contributors to the contraction in growth, with the former contracting by 32.8% and the latter contracting by 22.1% on a seasonally adjusted, annualised basis.
This will no doubt have negative repercussions on, among others, employment in the country. The economy is experiencing the effects of the decrease in local and foreign demand, low commodity prices and weak production levels worldwide.
We expect GDP growth for the second quarter of 2009 to remain under pressure and contract by 1.5% year-on-year. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the indicator is expected to record positive growth of about 4.1%.