South African economy, 1 of Africa’s biggest, in recession

JOHANNESBURG – The South African economy has fallen into recession, compounding concerns about its weakening currency, plans for land reform and fallout from state corruption under former president Jacob Zuma.

The Statistics South Africa group said Tuesday that the economy shrank by 0.7 percent in the second quarter of 2018 after a contraction of 2.6 percent in the first quarter.

A recession is widely defined as two or more consecutive quarters of contraction.

South Africa’s economy, one of Africa’s biggest, already faces challenges on several fronts.

The South African rand lost value because of spillover from emerging market jitters in Turkey and Argentina. Meanwhile, a plan to redistribute land to address racial inequalities worries investors.

And President Cyril Ramaphosa is trying to root out costly corruption and mismanagement that flourished under Zuma.

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