JOHANNESBURG — South Africa's economy grew 2.5% in 2012, according to official data released Tuesday, spelling more modest growth for Africa's largest economy.

The annual figure was in line with government forecast, but was down from 3.5% in 2011.

As many countries in Africa enjoy unprecedented sustained growth, South Africa's economy risks becoming tripped up, with confidence hit by a series of ratings downgrades and sclerotic policy implementation.

The government has touted an all-encompassing National Development Plan to eliminate poverty by 2030.

The growth figures come exactly a month before South Africa hosts a summit of large emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India, China — the BRICS.

South Africa remains the laggard of the group despite signs of a pickup in performance toward the end of last year, with growth reaching 2.1% in the last quarter of 2012.

The GDP growth almost doubled from the 1.2% posted in the third quarter, according to data released by Statistics South Africa.

Mining activity, a mainstay in Africa's largest economy, fell 9.3% in the fourth quarter following months of wage-related strike unrest.

Gold and platinum mines, the center of most of the violence, were hardest hit.

The industry contracted by 4% in the year.

A 5% increase in manufacturing helped the recovery, while animal products dramatically pushed agriculture growth up 10%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013