GDP has fallen again by 3 percent. GDP or Gross Domestic Product is a measure of all goods and services produced in a country within a certain timeframe. The results released by Statistics SA today are quarterly GDP figures which means they are figures for the three months from April to June 2009. The thing with stats is that there is always a time lag between compilation and release. This figure shows where we have come from not where we are. So what are the effects of GDP on you the South African?
- Jobs become less stable
- Increases may go down
- Bonuses look less likely
GDP essentially measures the standard of living in a country and these figures show that our standard of living is decreasing. In South Africa we are in a recession but should remember that these figures are now historic. There have been rumblings about green shoots, or the turnaround, in the international economy, but when the financial crisis hit we were already lagging behind the rest of the world. These new figures show that the green shoots have not hit South Africa yet, but spring will soon be sprung and if there are any green shoots we might be able to see them in the next set of GDP data.
There are things that you can do to survive the recession. Plan a budget and put aside as much as you can into a savings account. When the upturn comes again, and it will, then you will have money aside to do stuff with. If you lose your job you will have money aside to tide you over. If you don't get a bonus then there will still be money for your kids come the holiday period. The important thing to do is plan for the future now. If you are already having problems with debt contact a debt counsellor sooner rather than later. The recession is still sucking but the economy will improve, so hold on and plan for it.