MZANSI’S gross domestic product decreased by 2,0% in the first quarter of this year.

According to Stats SA, the agriculture, forestry and the fishing industries increased by 27,8% and contributed 0,5 percentage point to GDP growth.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke released the results in Tshwane yesterday.

Maluleke said that goods and services imports decreased by 16,7%, largely driven by decreases in machinery and electrical equipment, mineral products and travel services.

“The mining and quarrying industry decreased by 21,5%,” he said.

“Decreased production was reported for iron ore, manganese ore and other metallic minerals and chromium.”

According to Maluleke, the manufacturing industry contracted by 8,5% in the first quarter.

He said seven of the 10 manufacturing divisions reported negative growth rates in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, divisions that made the largest contributions to the decrease were petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products and basic iron and steel among others.

He said electricity, gas and water industry decreased by 5,6% in the first quarter, the construction industry decreased by 4,7% and a decrease was also reported for residential buildings, non-residential buildings and construction works.

“Finance, real estate and business services increased by 3,7% in the first quarter while general government services increased by 1,0%,” he said.

Maluleke said expenditure on real gross domestic product fell by 2,3% in the first quarter this year.

Stats SA said household final consumption expenditure increased by 0,7% in the first quarter, contributing 0,4 of a percentage point to total growth.