The economy of South Africa in the first quarter declined at the fastest pace in a decade. According to official data, South Africa's GDP fell by 3.2% compared to the fourth quarter, when growth was recorded at 1.4%. The forecast of economists suggested a less significant decrease - only by 1.6%. GDP in annual terms did not change, economists had predicted a 0.6% increase. The cause of the economic downturn was the long interruptions in the supply of electricity, which caused great damage to agriculture, the mining industry and the manufacturing industry. The sharp decline in GDP prompted Citigroup analysts to revise their forecast for the timing of lowering the base rate of the Central Bank of South Africa. Now they expect such a decision from the regulator already in July, not in September, as was predicted earlier. The Central Bank of South Africa estimates that GDP will grow by 1% this year.