Lesetja Kganyago: Challenges facing the global economy - a South African perspective

Public lecture by Mr Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, at the University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, 10 May 2023. 

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
01 June 2023

Ladies and gentlemen,

it is with great pleasure to be invited to address you today. The past few years have been a rollercoaster – evidenced by the numerous shocks that we have been faced with in a space of just three years. While the global economy at large continues to recover from the COVID-19 shock, and as we navigate what one could consider a new normal, there are important challenges that we continue to face as policymakers across the world. As such, the topic chosen for my address today – challenges facing the global economy from a South African perspective – could not be more fitting. This topic is particularly important for South Africa which, alongside other emerging market economies, has had its own idiosyncratic challenges being exacerbated by these global shocks.

In light of this background, my speech today will focus on how inflation, growth and the monetary policy outlook have impacted our domestic economy. Before doing so, it is probably important that we do a quick recap of where we have come from.

Global developments since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic

The major disruptions since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic have been an important learning exercise for global economic policy. With no precedent in recent history to learn from, it has highlighted the importance of finding appropriate policy responses required to address the shock. The unusually large supply and demand imbalances we witnessed during and post the pandemic were a result of the sudden restrictions (and consequent relaxation) of economic activity as authorities around the world sought to contain the spread of the pandemic.