South Africa’s increase in interest rates this year and rising inflation mean an economy already buffeted by global and local headwinds will also see growth choked off as domestic demand collapses.

The latest figures for growth in key sectors in May (and for first five months of 2013) were slightly better than expected, especially in retail, although activity in manufacturing and mining remains sluggish.

What happens when the US is no longer the world’s ‘consumer of last resort’? Uniquely, its balance of payments current-account deficit is slowly contracting during this recovery rather than expanding rapidly.

Vehicle sales posted very weak growth in 2013, held back by sluggish domestic demand and lengthy strike action, according to the latest data from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa).

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced that it is to sell off one-third of its stake in Aspen, a South African drugmaker.