Time to Liberate Ourselves from a Misleading Statistic

Publication Date: 
25 July 2014
Times Media (Pty) Ltd
Publication Place: 
Publication Language: 
Appearing in: 
Business Day
Online page

OUTH Africa is on an economic roller coaster. After the five-month strike in the platinum mines and turmoil in the metal sector, our country is still grappling with a credit downgrade and gloomy forecasts for economic growth. Pundits warn that if the gross domestic product (GDP) does not pick up in the coming months, a recession will be inevitable, with disastrous consequences for all of us. Our eyes are all on this magic number. But what is GDP? Is GDP really helping us measure the state of our economy? Or is it a misleading indicator that contributes to wrong policy decisions, especially at a time of growing unrest and dissatisfaction with the transformation of the economy?