Rhodes University Logo

RU Commerce students represent at the Student Leadership Summit

Date Released : 04/10/2017

Two Rhodes University Commerce students, Letty Seshoka and Denzel Makombe have been selected to participate in a national Student Leadership programme as part of the top 30 students chosen for the Student Leadership Summit 2017.

The Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions in Africa

Date Released : 01/09/2017

Professor Enyinna Nwauche’s highly anticipated book on traditional cultural expression in Africa has been published.

Global difficulties not to blame for SA’s slowdown

Date Released : 15/03/2016

THE latest Reserve Bank Quarterly Bulletin confirms the sorry state of the South African economy. It also identifies strong headwinds that will hamper faster growth in the future

Rhodes to host China in Africa International Symposium

Date Released : 28/10/2013

The Department of Management at Rhodes University will host an International Symposium from 31 October to 1 November 2013 at the Centre for Continuing Education to discuss China in Africa: implications for management, implications for change.

International and Rhodes scholars study China’s presence in Africa

Date Released : 12/11/2013

As a research led university Rhodes has an important role to play in increasing understandings of China’s involvement in Africa

SA should study how Australia exports degrees

Date Released : 11/05/2016

I wonder what Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe thinks about late at night.

THE POINT: Creating win-win solutions for businesses

Date Released : 02/03/2016

THIS is a real-life business dilemma faced by the CEO of a brick factory in the Eastern Cape.

THE POINT: New performance gauges key in cutting pay gap

Date Released : 17/02/2016

THINK of a gathering of 900,000 people — the annual population increase in SA, based on the 1.65% growth rate of the population of 55-million, according to Statistics SA’s mid-2015 figures. Add this to the Bloomberg survey that ranks SA third in the world in the 2015 Misery index, in Bloomberg’s words, "one of the five most painful economies in which to live and work in the world". In first place is Venezuela with a collapsed economy, followed by Argentina. In fourth and fifth place are Ukraine and Greece.

Downgrade would hit businesses, not just state

Date Released : 17/02/2016

THE government has belatedly recognised the urgent need to avoid a downgrade of SA’s credit-worthiness to junk.

The cushy life of a CA. A steal at R10 a day, make it R20.

Date Released : 05/02/2016

This is Matthew Lester at his best, he’s questioning the R10 a day he pays to be a Chartered Accountant.

THE POINT: Let’s start with prioritising quality education

Date Released : 03/02/2016

WE WENT to Davos to see the wonderful wizards of wealth: a guild of the rich and powerful who pledge to increase justice and end poverty, but who find it perfectly on form that the world’s 62 richest billionaires — many of whom were represented at Davos — have as much wealth as 3.6-billion people today.

Greece is paying the price of excess spending

Date Released : 06/07/2015

WHICHEVER way it voted on Sunday, Greece will still be faced with economic pain as the financially embattled country tries to adjust its domestic spending in line with what it can afford.

Murky nuclear plan no light at end of tunnel

Date Released : 22/06/2015

THE government is committed to building 9.6 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear power plants, but no one has any real idea how much this will cost

SA is creating jobs that lock out workers forever

Date Released : 08/06/2015

Rhodes University staff member in the Economics department, Professor Gavin Keeton, discusses how South Africa needs to expand its job market to account for the number of unskilled workers in the country.

Post office, Telkom, Eskom becoming obsolete

Date Released : 25/05/2015

TWENTY years ago, it was unthinkable that SA could manage without efficient service from the post office, Telkom and Eskom.

Internet newbies lack security knowledge

Date Released : 07/05/2015

There is a growing number of new Internet users, whose biggest challenge is that they lack education about the risks.

Critics of the private business sector in SA allege that local companies are on an "investment strike".

Date Released : 17/03/2015

CRITICS of the private business sector in SA allege that local companies are on an "investment strike".

Rhodes Business School lands Amba accreditation for MBA degree

Date Released : 13/03/2015

RHODES Business School has become the sixth South African school to have its Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree

Joining the 2% of accredited business schools worldwide

Date Released : 13/03/2015

Rhodes Business School is proud to announce the accreditation of its MBA provision

Rhodes wins in CA assessment

Date Released : 05/03/2015

RHODES University has scooped top honours in final assessments to qualify students as chartered accountants

Tax and spending: Focus needs to fall on higher growth for state to meet ambitious goal

Date Released : 26/02/2015

THE 2015-16 budget demonstrates the government’s determination to preserve SA’s hard-won

Countdown to Nene’s National Numbers

Date Released : 17/02/2015

10 years ago a ticket to attend the National Budget speech was more socially prized than a ticket to the J&B Met horse race.

SA government needs private-sector assistance

Date Released : 02/02/2015

WHEN governments run out of money, the consequences are usually very painful. To reduce spending to what is affordable

Mr Chris Upfold Awarded the Commerce Faculty Teaching Award

Date Released : 28/01/2015

In acknowledgement of his innovative teaching and learning strategies, Mr Chris Upfold has been awarded the Commerce Faculty Teaching Award, an initiative aimed at recognising a Commerce Faculty member who has developed a teaching and learning strategy that addresses the changing needs of the Faculty, students or society.

New rouble crisis unlikely, but we cannot relax

Date Released : 08/12/2014

THE Russian rouble has plummeted against the dollar since the middle of the year.

Investor exit behind fall in commodity prices

Date Released : 24/11/2014

THE rapid fall in the oil price to below $80 a barrel will provide welcome relief to cash-strapped South Africans.

Near-tragic fire incident sparks student's rise

Date Released : 21/11/2014

A TALENTED university graduate who was wasting away in a dead-end job when he nearly died in a life-changing shack fire

Matthew Lester: How f***ed are the poor in RSA?

Date Released : 19/11/2014

Sorry to ABIL’s ex director Tami Sokutu, I just cannot leave this theme alone.

Allan Gray Academic Achievement Awards 2014

Date Released : 13/11/2014

Rhodes University staff, students and members of Allan Gray celebrated successful partnerships, recognised talent and rewarded excellence at the recent Allan Gray Academic Achievement Awards.

Matthew Lester: The thing that keeps me awake at night

Date Released : 13/11/2014

It must be damn tough to be South Africa’s minister of finance. Personally I would rather gut fish.

Matthew Lester: Will stamping out tax evasion solve the world’s tax problems?

Date Released : 11/11/2014

A director of a listed company, exhausted by multiple SARS audits, recently complained to me that big companies are overly targeted by SARS. So here is an explanation.

Corruption the scourge of democracy, Archbishop says.

Date Released : 29/10/2014

Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Magkoba was in Grahamstown Tuesday 28 October to officially hand over a donation to Rhodes Business School, which his trust has selected to host an annual lecture on values based leadership.

Rhodes Business School addresses critical skills shortage.

Date Released : 05/11/2014

Much needed and critical skills in South Africa are being addressed through Rhodes Business School’s Certificate in Sustainable Business Analysis.

Rapid growth only real option to fight inequality

Date Released : 10/11/2014

A RECENT World Bank Report highlights the effectiveness of SA’s fiscal policies in reducing inequality and poverty.

Alumnus wins National Tax Thesis Writing Competition

Date Released : 04/11/2014

A well-respected legal firm and the South African Institute of Professional Accountants recently awarded David Grenville the Norton Rose Fulbright tax thesis writing award for the best 2013 Master’s degree tax thesis in South Africa.

Archbishop donates to Rhodes lecture

Date Released : 29/10/2014

Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Magkoba was in Grahamstown Tuesday 28 October to officially hand over a donation to Rhodes Business School, which his trust has selected to host an annual lecture on values based leadership.

Matthew Lester: My assessment of the 2014 Mini-Budget

Date Released : 22/10/2014

New Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene this afternoon delivered his first major speech to Parliament in his new role.

Matthew Lester: Preview of the maxi Important Mini Budget (video)

Date Released : 22/10/2014

This year’s Mini Budget, to be presented to Parliament tomorrow.

Matthew Lester: Tax alert – big news coming in next week’s Mini Budget

Date Released : 15/10/2014

Some say the news event of October will again be Oscar Pistorius.

Our economic weakness is of our own making

Date Released : 13/10/2014

AFTER decades of poor economic performance, sub-Saharan Africa’s growth is taking off.

Matthew Lester: Investing local is still lekker

Date Released : 08/10/2014

There are many disturbing images of our beautiful country.

Matthew Lester: Dear Mark Shuttleworth – how about hip2b@school?

Date Released : 06/10/2014

Dear Mark Shuttleworth,

Who's Heritage Day is it anyway?

Date Released : 26/09/2014

It is not difficult to come to the conclusion that we are steeped in a deep heritage of assassinating each other WEDNESDAY, September 24, was Heritage Day.

Matthew Lester: Rising food prices, a spark that ignites unrest

Date Released : 29/09/2014

“Cry havoc – and let loose the Dogs of War.” Frederick Forsyth didn’t pen the line.

Job disparities according to race are alarming

Date Released : 29/09/2014

A Recent report by Statistics SA provides interesting insights on employment and unemployment in SA.

Matthew Lester: Goodbye Great SA Summer Holiday – and coastal fun spots

Date Released : 25/09/2014

Matthew Lester has a light pen. And a way of teaching us about his speciality – tax – by working lessons through seemingly unrelated stories.

Matthew Lester: Whose Heritage Day is it anyway?

Date Released : 22/09/2014

Wednesday 24 September is Heritage Day. It is a pity that our country, so rich in heritage, seems to have reduced this important day to a bring-and-braai pissup.

Matthew Lester: Bravo Tim Noakes – stuff those empty suits and their dusty tomes

Date Released : 17/09/2014

My favorite book ever, even beyond JD Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye’, is Apsley Cherie-Garrard’s ‘the worst journey in the world.

Matthew Lester: Judge Masipa got Oscar judgement spot on. Here’s why.

Date Released : 15/09/2014

For the past two years even the National Budget Speech has been chased out of the media spotlight by Oscar Pistorius.

SA must cut exposure to fickle global investors

Date Released : 15/09/2014

TWO developments dominated the economic news in recent days. The first was the unexpectedly large increase in SA's current account deficit to 6.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) — in money terms, a deficit of R222bn a year.

Matthew Lester on Hansie’s legacy – Conferences, goodie bags and the taxman

Date Released : 08/09/2014

When I started off on the lecture circuit, the venues were confined to school or town halls.

Call for 2015 Applications: Postgraduate Diploma in Enterprise Management (PDEM)

Date Released : 05/09/2014

The programme is designed to lay the foundations for students who wish to start their own businesses.

Call for Postgraduate Applications: 2015 Commerce Studies

Date Released : 05/09/2014

The Commerce Faculty offers Honours, Masters and Doctoral studies in Accounting, Economics, Information Systems and Management.

A call for 2015 MBA intake

Date Released : 02/09/2014

Leadership for sustainability. Responsible Leadership, Engaged Business, Intergatrated Society.

SA’s mining address no longer in a prime area

Date Released : 01/09/2014

THE president of the Chamber of Mines describes South Africa as "the world’s best mining address".

Matthew Lester: Confession of an Eastern Cape coke addict

Date Released : 22/08/2014

The Eastern Cape pays less than 8% of South Africa’s personal tax.

Personal collections – what is their true investment potential?

Date Released : 22/08/2014

Some years ago I received a Mandela gold coin as a long-service award.

Skills shortage addressed as 400 analysts trained

Date Released : 22/08/2014

TWO years after the Rhodes University Business School and Standard Bank partnered to offer a programme to address business analyst skill shortages in South Africa, 400 have graduated.

Matthew Lester: Save our teachers. F$@k the cruising Abil executive

Date Released : 19/08/2014

I quote from Prof Lawrence Wright lecture at Rhodes University 16 November, 2011. (Yes, that’s now nearly 4 years ago!).

If users are to pay, they must also have a say on big projects

Date Released : 18/08/2014

THE recent decision by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to grant Eskom an additional tariff hike next year to compensate

Revenue shortfalls just part of Eskom’s troubles

Date Released : 18/08/2014

Commentary about Eskom’s financial woes usually focuses on the refusal by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to grant the utility its requested large annual tariff increases over the next five years.

The wind beneath her wings

Date Released : 04/08/2014

A HARDWORKING masters student would not have made it into Rhodes University five years ago

Matthew Lester: Lifelong learning – part-time MBA with tax benefits

Date Released : 31/07/2014

It is now five years since the depths of the global credit crunch. The rot may have been checked but world prosperity seems to still be a long way off.

Agric land switched to game farming coming back to bite SA

Date Released : 29/07/2014

There is not much fun to be had when attending farmers’ days anymore.

Matthew Lester: Agric land switched to game farming coming back to bite SA

Date Released : 29/07/2014

There is not much fun to be had when attending farmers’ days anymore. For years these functions used to be all about the droughts, floods or pests, lousy market prices and increasing fuel prices. We could generally drink out a solution.

Rate hike shows policy makers’ predicament

Date Released : 21/07/2014

The decision by the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee to increase interest rates by just 0.25%, rather than the 0.5% increments it has used in the past

Sleeping through a revolution

Date Released : 18/07/2014

Martin Luther King Junior eloquently adapted the story in the context of America sleeping through the rise of the black consciousness movement.

Maqubela scoops Social Entrepreneur award

Date Released : 07/07/2014

Rhodes University Statistics lecturer, Ms Thina Maqubela was recently awarded the Social Entrepreneur award

Mining pay should reflect rise and fall of profits

Date Released : 07/07/2014

THE five-month platinum strike is thankfully at an end. Producers and workers must now focus on recovering as best they can.

Young woman wins business award

Date Released : 26/06/2014

MOTHERWELL-born Thina Maqubela has proved that success has nothing to do with where one comes from, winning a regional businesswomen’s award last week.

Rhodes alumni awarded prestigious international scholarship

Date Released : 23/06/2014

Two Rhodes University alumni, Dylan Smith and Timothy Abel, were recently awarded prestigious Rhodes Scholarships.

Hosting mega-events not as valuable as thought

Date Released : 23/06/2014

THE run-up to this year’s Fifa World Cup in Brazil was marred by widespread popular protests. Underlying these demonstrations are numerous social

Matthew Lester: Financial Planning for young graduates. Don’t stuff up like Dad.

Date Released : 19/06/2014

Most financial planning campaigns are directed at the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation (born between 1945 and 1963) and Generation X (born between 1964 and 1980).

Prof Snowball awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award

Date Released : 13/06/2014

Professor Jen Snowball has been acknowledged for her contribution to research at Rhodes University by being awarded

Forty students from Commerce Extended Studies Programme graduated in 2014

Date Released : 12/06/2014

A total of 40 undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Faculty of Commerce graduated at the 2014 Graduation ceremony.

Outlook for mining is about the future of jobs

Date Released : 09/06/2014

THE platinum strike is in its fifth month. We learned last week that it has already caused a 0.6% annualised contraction of SA’s gross domestic product

No quick solution to the problem of inequality

Date Released : 26/05/2014

South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. We are not, as is often claimed, the most unequal.

'Curiosity driven research'

Date Released : 19/05/2014

Professor Jen Snowball, the recipient of Rhodes University's Vice-Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award for 2014, is never bored.

Rhetoric aside, what we had was compromise

Date Released : 12/05/2014

The economic and social policy framework in SA since the advent of democracy has been described as a "class compromise".

Assessing the Financial Health of a University

Date Released : 29/04/2014

Prof Mark Bunting was invited by the Department of Higher Education and Training to deliver a presentation at their Ministerial Council Appointees Capacity Building Seminar, held in Johannesburg on 26 March.

SARS conjures rabbit out of hat

Date Released : 14/04/2014

THERE are two major vulnerabilities in South Africa’s tax system.

A platinum producers’ cartel is not practical

Date Released : 14/04/2014

SOUTH Africa has more than 80% of the world’s known reserves of platinum group metals.

Davis Tax Commission

Date Released : 04/04/2014

In July 2013, South African tax expert and Rhodes University Professor, Matthew Lester was selected to be a member of the Tax Review Committee.

INSETA-funded BCom students achieve 100% university pass rate

Date Released : 26/03/2014

The Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA) is thrilled to announce that all 53 Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) Accounting students, funded by INSETA

Don’t be lured by relief on lump sum

Date Released : 24/03/2014

THE national budget announcement that moved the tax threshold applied to lumpsum withdrawal benefits from retirement funds came somewhat as a surprise.

Community work gets nod from one quarter

Date Released : 20/03/2014

Rhodes University student Qhawe Mhlongo, 22, spends as much time helping people as he does on his studies.

Lights might be on, for now, but a credible power plan is crucial

Date Released : 18/03/2014

RECRIMINATIONS over Eskom’s recent load-shedding should not divert attention from the economic consequences

Education is not only about the children

Date Released : 17/03/2014

OPPOSITION parties regularly get mileage out of attacking South Africa’s education system.

Flood of illegal fags leads to missed targets

Date Released : 10/03/2014

IT is amazing that, despite the growth rates for the 2013-14 fiscal year, the South African Revenue Service

Not much here for poor or the planet

Date Released : 05/03/2014

I GOT most of my budget predictions wrong. Starting off, I did not think the South African Revenue Service would get within R20billion of target. Wrong.

Budget shaped by SA’s economic weakness rather than election

Date Released : 27/02/2014

THE principal driver of the budget was not, as some had predicted, the forthcoming election.

New hope for rural SA just a tweak away

Date Released : 24/02/2014

IT is difficult to make a realistic wish list for the national budget speech on Wednesday.

Six academics to deliver inaugural lecturers in 2014

Date Released : 21/02/2014

Six Professors will deliver their inaugural lectures at Eden Grove Blue from May until September this year.

VAT change adds to cluster costs

Date Released : 18/02/2014

HOMEOWNER associations range in size from small committees that pool resources to collectively tackle security to substantial operations

Dissecting SA inequality leaves only one answer

Date Released : 17/02/2014

THE World Economic Forum's latest Global Risk Report identifies severe income inequality as one of the 10 "global risks of highest concern in 2014".

Sustainability on the business agenda

Date Released : 11/02/2014

FEBRUARY 5, 2014: IT’S not just environmentalists that have elevated sustainability to the top of the agenda, but business and recently business studies in higher education, which has woven the topic through its high-level post-graduate courses to ensure that commerce is cognisant of a ‘triple context’.

Cheap rand no magic wand to increase exports

Date Released : 03/02/2014

THE rand is approaching record lows against the dollar. Why then is the output of our major export sectors, mining and manufacturing, not responding?

Income tax unlikely to go up in an election year

Date Released : 13/01/2014

Speculation over the surprises in store for taxpayers in the national budget speech, (27 February) is already starting. Some say this is an election year and not much will happen.

South African Commerce Deans’ Association

Date Released : 29/11/2013

The South African Commerce Deans’ Association (SACDA) recently convened at Rhodes University for the second of its two annual meetings.

Investors need more than what's on offer

Date Released : 03/12/2013

THERE is a new tax package on the way for special economic zones to replace the old industrial

State simply cannot do everything on its own

Date Released : 25/11/2013

SOUTH Africa last week experienced electricity load shedding.

Rhodes accounting students will score from new professional link

Date Released : 19/11/2013

Students in the Department of Accounting have a clearer path to follow to success and a mentor they can be proud to emulate

Big market on doorstep

Date Released : 15/11/2013

‘Look at bottom of pyramid for sales’

TAX TALK: Put the fringe benefits to use for low earners

Date Released : 11/11/2013

MY dad served 34 years at the Johannesburg branch of the reformatory school for boys in Tokai.

Employers put little value on youths’ education

Date Released : 11/11/2013

THE government’s introduction of a wage subsidy for young workers is the culmination of five years of acrimonious debate.

Two provinces fund most of South Africa

Date Released : 04/11/2013

THE recently released South African Revenue Service Statistics 2013 package contains a fascinating map

Let nothing stand in the way of economic growth

Date Released : 31/10/2013

The medium-term budget policy statement released last week makes for sombre reading. Its key message is that five consecutive years of subpar economic growth have left fiscal policy with no room for manoeuvre.

TAX TALK: Gordhan saved country from junk status

Date Released : 29/10/2013

Working with the recently released 2013 SARS tax statistics is a pleasure. They give true meaning to transparency in the budgetary process.

Praise heaped on mini budget

Date Released : 25/10/2013

EASTERN Cape experts yesterday unanimously gave Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan the thumbs-up for his medium-term budget policy statement,

Stout captain but stiffer headwinds

Date Released : 25/10/2013

The biggest hospital pass in tax history must have been when Pravin Gordhan took over from Trevor Manuel as minister of finance in May 2009.

Are investors rational?

Date Released : 21/10/2013

There has been, for some years now, serious disagreement in theoretical finance about the nature of investor decision making. In an upending of the usual formulation of Sayre’s Law, this particular academic argument is vicious, precisely because the stakes are so high.

The difficulty of a return to the Zimbabwe dollar

Date Released : 15/10/2013

South Africans often ask how Zimbabwe was able to adopt the dollar as its official currency and, conversely, how it could re-establish its own currency. The answers begin with an understanding of what money actually is.

New head for Grahamstown Foundation

Date Released : 10/10/2013

Professor Geoffrey Antrobus was recently elected as Chairman of the Grahamstown Foundation Council.

Conference highlights key issues affecting tax landscape

Date Released : 10/10/2013

Technical amendments to legislation, a lack of capacity by the authorities and advisers, and taxpayer resistance to continue paying taxes in the face of heightened corruption were highlighted on Tuesday at a tax conference as major challenges affecting the tax landscape.

Financing SA’s budget deficit

Date Released : 09/10/2013

JOHANNESBURG – An increase in tax collection as a means to try to reduce South Africa’s budget deficit will most likely have to come from a fourth significant tax.

Why plans to legalise rhino-horn trade will fail

Date Released : 30/09/2013

A recent study in Vietnam, sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), reveals that demand for rhino horn may be much larger than previously thought. It shows that, in addition to consumers of rhino horn, there is a large group of "intenders" — people who intend to buy rhino horn when they can afford it.

Call for 2014 Applications

Date Released : 30/09/2013

Rhodes University prides itself on its high percentage of postgraduate students. At the 2013 graduation ceremony, 41% of all graduates were awarded postgraduate degrees. Rhodes also celebrated a new University record of 63 PhDs – an outstanding achievement for the smallest university in the country.

Exports need to be raised to protect the rand

Date Released : 16/09/2013

In 2010 Brazil’s finance minister accused the developed countries of waging "war" against developing countries. Expansionary monetary policies to help the developed nations recover from the financial crisis were, he alleged, causing large flows of capital from rich countries into developing nations.

Cheryl Carolus visits Rhodes

Date Released : 03/09/2013

In a time when political apathy is reportedly on the rise and many South Africans appear bewildered as to how to effectively confront poor leadership and widening inequality and income gaps, Ms Cheryl Carolus called for a new approach in understanding who and what citizens should mobilise against.

Exporters need weaker rand, but after inflation

Date Released : 03/09/2013

THE recent fall in the rand exchange rate has been welcomed by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. He believes it will give a much-needed boost to our sluggish manufacturing industries. This is because a weaker exchange rate reduces the cost of South African products in dollars, encouraging foreigners to buy our exports ahead of our competitors’.

Simplified pension tax on the way

Date Released : 06/08/2013

It has always been easy to set examinations designed to fail Tax 101 students: simply test the tax deductions on employer and employee contributions to pension, provident and retirement annuity funds.

Rising household debt limits growth possibilities

Date Released : 08/07/2013

Economies grow over time when more people are employed or there is an increase in the number of machines, factories and supporting infrastructure used by workers.

The need for a part-time MBA in RSA today

Date Released : 06/08/2013

It is now four years since the depths of the global credit crunch. The rot may have been checked but world prosperity seems to still be a long way off.

SA needs wages accord to avert more jobs cuts

Date Released : 10/06/2013

Thanks to our strong banking sector, South Africa’s financial system was largely unaffected by the 2008 global financial crisis. Yet the crisis severely battered our economic growth performance and employment levels.

Who heads the Fed matters for our economy too

Date Released : 21/08/2013

The chairmanship of the US Federal Reserve has been described as the most powerful financial position in the world, so it is not surprising that whenever the position is to be filled, considerable attention is paid to possible candidates and their likely approaches to monetary policy in the world’s largest economy.