The Bureau for Economic Research (BER), in its second quarterly economic report on the Western Cape economy as commissioned by the Western Cape Government, found that after contracting by 1.3 per cent during 2009, economic activity in the Western Cape grew by of 3.1 per cent during 2010. This is higher than the national economy which only grew at 2.9 per cent during the same period.
This trend is expected to continue with the Western Cape’s GDP growth for 2011 likely to be higher than that recorded nationally. Estimates for 2011 suggest that the Western Cape should continue to outperform the national economy with growth likely coming from the retail and financial services sectors.
Growth in the Western Cape economy was boosted by increased activity in the manufacturing (5 per cent), finance (3.6 per cent) and retail (3.3 per cent) sectors.
The Western Cape economy created 5 000 jobs during the first quarter of 2012. The recorded gains in employment remain modest when compared to the growth in the labour force (those willing to participant in employment). Unemployment in the Western Cape therefore remains too high at 22.8 per cent, but is still significantly lower than the national unemployment rate of 25.2 per cent.
The review of our economy shows that we are moving in the right direction. We have made many gains – we have significantly higher business, wholesale and manufacturing confidence than has been recorded nationally. The same goes for our economic growth. However, we still have some way to go. We will also have to weather the storms of international financial crises.
The Western Cape Government believes that the creation of growth and jobs is central to ensuring that citizens of our province are able to live better lives. We remain steadfastly committed to achieving this objective in partnership with all sectors of our society.
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