Financial services go large - December 2009
The financial services sector has become the biggest contributor to the South African economy. This is according to a new report by the South African Institute for Race Relations (SAIRR). The sector has now overtaken manufacturing, which for many years was the top contributor to the economy, providing 20% or more.
According to the latest reports, the financial services sector's contribution to the country's GDP in 2008 was 22%, the manufacturing sector's 19%, while government added 15%. Last year mining provided 9.5% - its biggest contribution since 1989, when it delivered 9.9%. Agriculture contributed 3.3%, making it the sector with the third-smallest contribution.
The fact that the manufacturing sector has been overtaken by the financial services sector was a positive move, says the SAIRR, which indicates that the country has become a mature economy.