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Durban's Economy Recovers in the Second Quarter


GDP data on EThekwini Municipality's performance has recently been released. As expected, Durban's economy has recovered from the negative slump experienced in the first quarter of 2019. This is good news for the City's economy, but should be sustained in order to produce significant positive impact.

How has Durban's economy performed in Q2 2019?

Durban's performance compared to SA's other major cites

All major cites in South Africa have achieved a growth rate of 2% or above in the second quarter, after a quarter of -2.6% on average across all major cities in the previous quarter. On average the Business and Retail Trade sectors have performed best for all cities. Although performance was positive, Durban's growth was the lowest of all major cities, at 2% growth, compared to an average of 2.5% for other cities, or 2.8% for the top performing economy (Johannesburg).

Durban vs SA Major Cities GDP Growth
Source: IHS, 2019

The biggest contributors to Durban's positive economic performance

Almost 40% (39.8%) of Durban's 2% growth rate was due to the business and finance sector, while a third could be attributed to the Community services sector (including Government and Personal services), and another third to the Retail sector, which includes tourism. The Construction sector appears not to have recovered from its recent slump; detracting almost 4% from Durban's positive growth. Other negative contributors included the Transport and Logistics and Agriculture sectors. While the mining sector was the major contributor to positive performance at the national level, mining's minimal contribution to Durban's economy meant that it’s real contribution to Durban's economic performance was minimal.

Proportional Contribution to Durban’s 2% Growth in Q2 2019

Sectoral contributions add up to 100% of Durban 2% growth rate, plus taxes less subsidies.

Source: IHS, 2019

Perfomance Trends

Durban's performance this quarter was only slightly above its average performance since 2010 q2

Total Annualised Quarterly Performance of Durban’s GDP
Source: IHS, 2019

Construction in Distress

The City (and Country's) Construction sectors have recorded consistent negative or sub-optimal performance since 2017 Q2 and requires support and assistance.

Total Annualised Quarterly Performance of Durban’s Construction Sector GVA
Source: IHS, 2019


Durban's Construction sector, much like the country's, requires support and assistance, while the tertiary sectors can be lauded for uplifting Durban's performance. This is good news for the City's economy, but should be sustained over a number of consequitive quarters in order to produce significant positive impacts in employment, poverty and inequality.

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