October 3, 2016 / 10:36 AM / a year ago

South Africa FinMin Gordhan: Economy to grow more than 1 pct in 2017

LONDON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - South Africa’s economy could grow by more than one percent next year and hopes to be able to avoid a ratings downgrade, the country’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan said on Monday.

“We predict over one percent next year,” Gordhan told reporters on the sidelines of the FT Africa Summit, declining to comment on this year’s growth expectations.

Asked how worried he was about a possible downgrade by ratings agencies, Gordhan said he would not want to see that happen.

“We have put a lot of hard work in to ensure that we present a united national front and also that we communicate a lot better,” he said.

Fitch and SP Global Ratings both score South Africa at BBB-, the lowest rung on the investment ladder. This means that more conservative funds are able to invest in the country’s assets.

Both agencies hold a negative outlook on the rating and the next round of reviews are due in December. (Reporting by Karin Strohecker and Ulf Laessing)

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