The business climate in South Africa is marginally lower, still laging behind conditions that prevailed in 2018, according to the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“With the national and provincial elections now concluded and the new Cabinet and provincial legislature now in place, business anticipates priority focus to be on efforts to grow the economy, to create jobs, to eliminate historical social injustices, to improve education and health care, to fight crime, and broadly to improve the lives of ordinary South Africans,” Sacci said in a statement.
Sacci’s latest Business Confidence Index (BCI) shows that business confidence declined to 93.0 in May 2019 from 93.7 in April 2019 and was also one index point lower than the 94.0 level in May 2018. In 2018, the average for the year was 95.5, while the 5-month average index for 2019 so far is 93.4.
In the April 2019 to May 2019 month-to-month (m/m) analysis of the sub-indices, four of the thirteen sub-indices that make up the composite BCI improved, eight decreased and one sub-index remained unchanged.
The four sub-indices that improved are increased merchandise export volumes, lower consumer price inflation, energy supply, and increased real credit extension to the private sector.
The year-on-year decline of the BCI from 94.0 in May 2018 to 93.0 in May 2019 was driven by the investment and trade weighted rand that depreciated against the US-dollar, the British pound and the euro; the decline in the All-share Index of the JSE; the lower real value of building plans passed; fewer new vehicles sold; and declining real retail sales.
There was also an increase in import and export trade volumes and lower annual consumer inflation.