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Rand falls as South Africa economy contracts in Q1

The rand fell more than 1% against the dollar after data showed that the South African economy contracted in the first quarter.

Real GDP fell 3.2% on a quarterly basis in the first three months of 2019, following a 1.4% increase in the fourth quarter of 2018, marking the largest quarterly drop in about 10 years, Statistics South Africa said.

The manufacturing industry plunged 8.8%, while mining fell 10.8% and the trade, catering and accommodation industry declined 3.6%.

The South African rand was down 1.21% versus the U.S. currency as of 6:38 a.m. ET.

South Africa slipped into a recession in the second quarter of 2018 but bounced back in the succeeding three-month period.