Nelson Mandela Bay – Economic Bulletin

***July/August 2022 Update***

 The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Directorate recently published an updated Economic Bulletin reporting on the state of the metro’s economy.

As per the published report, it was expected at the time of writing that the economy of Nelson Mandela Bay will grow by 1.3% this year, following a decline of -7.8% year-on year in 2020 and a 6% y-on-y gain in 2021.

In terms of the post-pandemic recovery, NMB’s real GDP in 2021 improved to 97% of the metropole’s real GDP in 2018.

Looking at the labour market, jobs figures released for the first quarter of 2022 indicate that the number of employed persons in Nelson Mandela Bay has increased by almost 22,000 over the previous four quarters. This saw the unemployment rate improve to 36.4% in the first quarter of 2022.

In terms of specific industrial and commercial conditions in the city-region, the number of newly manufactured vehicles shipped from the Port of Port Elizabeth in Gqeberha improved significantly, on average, over the last four reported months compared to the average for the preceding 24 months.

At Nelson Mandela Bay’s two commercial seaports, container traffic has normalised – following last year’s explosive protests in Kwazulu-Natal which disrupted national traffic – and is now averaging at 16.7% of national volume over the past ten months (i.e post-July 2021).

In addition, passenger traffic at Nelson Mandela Bay’s Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport (PLZ) has recovered to 52% of its pre-COVID throughput for the year ending March 2022; 4 percentage points above the national average.

In the property and construction sector, the value of building plans passed in Nelson Mandela Bay in the first five months of 2022 has increased by 3% when compared to the corresponding five months of 2021.

(*Please note that subsequent the published Economic Bulletin, the South African Reserve Bank released a revised growth forecast for the national economy; expecting GDP to grow by 2% in 2022, (revised upwards from the 1.7% expected at the time of the Monetary Policy Committee’s meeting in May). This forecast also takes into account an economic contraction expected for 2022Q2. Furthermore, SARB’s GDP growth projections were also reduced to 1.3% in 2023 and 1.5% in 2024.)