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South Africa’s Economy Grows Faster Than Expected

South Africa’s economy, the continent’s largest, grew at a faster pace in the final quarter of last year than the previous three months as manufacturing and agricultural output expanded, the statistics agency said.

Gross domestic product rose an annualized 2.1 percent from 1.2 percent in the third quarter, Statistics South Africa said in a report released today in Pretoria, the capital. The medianestimate of 20 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for growth of 1.7 percent. The economy grew 2.5 percent for the whole of last year, down from 3.5 percent in 2011.

South Africa’s economy is expanding at less than half the pace President Jacob Zuma says is necessary to slash a 24.9 percent jobless rate, the highest of more than 30 emerging- market nations tracked by Bloomberg. Work stoppages that began at platinum mines in August spread to gold shafts, while thousands of truck drivers went on strike last quarter over higher pay, disrupting output….”

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