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Indicators of economy in South Africa

The essential economic performance of a country is reflected by the gross domestic product, the total of all goods and services sold. Worldwide gross domestic product in 2021 was at about 12,230 USD per capita. GDP in South Africa, on the other hand, reached USD 7,055 per capita, or 419.02 billion USD for the whole country. South Africa is therefore currently ranked 31 of the major economies. If this is calculated per inhabitant, taking purchasing power parity into account, then South Africa ranks 99th in the list of the richest countries.

Inflation in South Africa in 2021 was around 4.61%. Within the EU, the average in the same year was 2.55 percent. In the United States, it was most recently 4.70%.

Compared with the USA, prices for daily consumer goods are around 52.9 percent lower.
The index for perceived corruption in the public sector is 43, which is below average by global standards.


Back to overview: South Africa

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

The consequences of the COVID pandemic in 2020 were considerable in South Africa. Overall, gross domestic product in 2020 fell from 388.53 billion US dollars to 337.62 billion US dollars. With a large drop of 13.10 percent, the economy in South Africa has struggled significantly more than other countries. The tourism sector alone slumped by around 70 percent. The unemployment rate rose from 28.5 to 29.2 percent. The inflation rate fell from 4.1 percent previously to 3.2 percent by the end of 2020.

Unemployment rates in percentages 1991 - 2021

Economic performance 2021

 South Africa
Total
South Africa
per capita
EU
Total
EU
per capita
GDP419.02 bn USD7,055.04 USD17.177 tn USD33,384.92 USD
Gross national product387.78 bn USD6,529.06 USD16.895 tn USD32,835.37 USD


South Africa ranked 47th in the Bloomberg Innovation Index in 2021. The index is calculated annually and most recently included 60 countries. The front-runner was South Korea. Out of the 2,000 largest listed companies in the world, 13 originate from South Africa. This is determined annually in the Forbes Global 2000 list. The 10 largest companies in the country in 2022 were:

Rank 447: Naspers (Cape Town)
Rank 448: Standard Bank Group (Johannesburg)
Rank 472: FirstRand (Johannesburg)
Rank 823: Absa Group (Johannesburg)
Rank 847: MTN Group (Roodepoort)
Rank 946: Sanlam (Bellville)
Rank 973: Sasol (Sandton)
Rank 1071: Sibanye Stillwater (Weltevreden Park)
Rank 1148: Impala Platinum Holdings (Northlands)
Rank 1156: Old Mutual (Cape Town)

Development of gross domestic product in billions of USD 1960 - 2021



Imports and Exports 2021

 South Africa
Total
South Africa
per capita
EU
Total
EU
per capita
Imports104.78 bn USD1,764.26 USD8.916 tn USD17,329.02 USD
Exports130.81 bn USD2,202.51 USD9.554 tn USD18,569.19 USD


Development of imports and exports in billions of USD 1970 - 2021

Exports
Imports



South Africa: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in South AfricaThe 22 biggest airports and 5 airlines in South Africa with further information and data with further information on airlines and destinations
South Africa: Public HolidaysPublic holidays in South Africa 2023-2027Statutory and inofficial holidays in South Africa for 2023 to 2027
Pariah StatesList of the 11 current Pariah States11 countries, that suffer from the sanctions of the international community because of their mostly autocratic government.