South African Q4 GDP grows above forecasts as rating decision nears

South Africa’s economy grew more than expected at the end of last year as agriculture and trade recovered, data showed on Tuesday, boosting its chances of avoiding a potentially debilitating credit ratings downgrade. The easing of a drought boosted the above-forecast rise in GDP in the fourth quarter. However, economists said Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as leader of the ruling African National Congress late in the quarter, and as president last month, has raised expectations that the country will make economic reforms and possibly keep its last investment grade rating.