Economic Trends and Composition In the more than three decades since the second world war, the South African economy has experienced rapid growth. In the years 1945–65, the average annual growth rate in real gross domestic product was 5·2 per cent. (During this sustained twenty‐year growth period, the country's population increased by an average of 2·3 per cent, which means that an annual increase in per capita product of 2·9 per cent was registered.) In the years 1966–72, economic growth was even more rapid, at an annual rate of around 6 per cent in real terms. In concert with many other countries, South Africa's economic performance has been weaker over the past five years (1973–77) with growth rates hovering about zero; excess capacity; inflation; and growing open unemploy‐ment (in addition to traditional and no doubt very substantial under‐employment, especially in the large semi‐subsistence sector).
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