Historical GDP revisions

As GDP data get revised after initial publication, it is useful to know whether initial GDP estimates are a true reflection of the state of the economy once GDP data has been finalised. On release, there has generally been initial underestimation of GDP growth, and these differences have grown over time. Since 2010, South Africa’s final vintage GDP has been 0.33 percentage points higher in quarter-on-quarter annualised terms and 0.22 percentage points higher in year-on-year terms on average than the initial GDP print. It is difficult to find comparable estimates for other emerging market economies, but the mean absolute magnitude of South African GDP revisions has been relatively high compared to many OECD economies.

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