Economic & Industrial

South Africa backs GDP data despite missing mine statistics

South Africa backs GDP data despite missing mine statistics
Mining News Pro - South Africa’s statistics agency maintains that its gross domestic product estimates for the second quarter will be credible amid plans to use an estimated value for missing mining data.

“Although concerned about the delayed mining data, we are not concerned about the integrity of the GDP,” Statistics South Africa said Wednesday in an emailed response to questions. “We always indicate that the first estimate of each quarterly GDP is preliminary and may be revised when new/revised source data is available.”

The state agency was due to publish mining production and sales figures for June last month, but has yet to receive the inputs needed to compute the data from South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. An estimate for the missing data using supplementary figures, including export metrics, will now be used in its quarterly GDP calculations, it said.

The DMRE didn’t immediately respond to emailed questions about the missing data.
Mining -- together with manufacturing production and retail sales -- are among the key data points used to gauge the performance of Africa’s most-industrialized economy. Business Maverick first reported on the omission of the figures.

Surging demand and prices for commodities, including platinum-group metals, iron ore, manganese and coal, have generated record profits for mining companies, bolstered public finances and allowed the government to fund relief measures for businesses and individuals affected by civil unrest that erupted in July.

The statistics agency is scheduled to publish GDP estimates for the second quarter on Sept. 7, when it’ll drop the focus on annualized growth and use 2015 as the new base year for the data.

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