Durban and national GDP growth declined on an annualised q-to-q rate, by 0.6%, in 2019 Q3. Other cities' GDP growth also declined, but by a lower percentage than Durban. This performance is an indicator of Durban's role on the coalface of the country's economy.
• The main triggers for the decline in growth are the Transport and Manufacturing sectors.
•This is due to two main factors; declining global trade and weak domestic demand.
•USA and China’s trade war, global uncertainty with Brexit, and declining growth in major economies have affected countries on whose purchases Durban is dependent.
•The result is less demand for Durban goods, and slower transport volumes in the Logistics sector, both internationally and locally. According to National Transport and Freight monitor C-Track, the Transport and Freight Index for the country revealed a -2,6% decline on average across its sub-sectors between August ad October 2019; compared to the same performance in 2018.
•Road Transport, a closer indicator of domestic goods demand was up by 1%, while Sea and Air Freight; a closer indicator of global demand, were clearly down by 3,4 and 2,4 percent respectively.
•According to National Transport and Freight monitor C-Track, the Transport and Freight Index for the country experienced a -2,6% decline on average across its sub sectors between August and October 2019; compared to the same performance in 2018.
•Road Transport, a closer indicator of domestic goods demand, was up by 1%, while Sea and Air Freight, a closer indicator of global demand, were clearly down by 3,4% and 2,4% respectively.
•Durban has the largest Transport and Storage sector in the country, and Transport contributes a larger proportion to the City’s economy (15%) than in other cities in the country. The negative growth in the sector is worst in Durban.
•Durban’s transport and storage companies may therefore require support.
- - - - - Freight transport average (-2.6%)
• While negative and or erratic growth has been recorded for other sectors; the Finance and Business sector (including Real Estate and Insurance), as well as the Community Services sector (including educational institutions, government and public/social services, personal services, etc) are consistently performing positively.
• No negative growth has been reported for Finance and Business Services for nine years, or 36 quarters.
• The Community Service sector on the other hand, only reported negative growth in 2015 Q1 and 2017 Q2 (both spurred on by negative growth in the government services sector).
• Both sectors (Finance and Community Services) have expanded by an average of 2.4% and 2.7% per quarter on average; respectively since 2010.
• Because of their size, they contribute significantly (over 100% on average) to each quarter’s performance, although this is balanced out by negative performance from other sectors.
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