Slight rise in trade activity

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IOL economy arrows Filomena Scalise

Johannesburg - The Trade Activity Index (TAI) increased slightly by two index points to 52 in June, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Tuesday.

This was after a decline by one point to 50 in May, Sacci said in a statement.

“Although overall trade conditions remained weak, the TAI hovered around positive territory since February 2014.

“With the economy performing at low levels, domestic and international trade still reflect reasonable performance but with slightly lower sales volumes than in 2013,” Sacci said.

The TAI was five index points lower that it was in June last year.

It said the sales volume sub-index remained on 52 in June, while the new order sub-index declined to 48.

This confirmed weaker but stable prospects, Sacci said.

Supplier deliveries appeared to be under slight pressure with the sub-index on deliveries decreasing by four points to 54.

Price pressures remained contained as the selling and input price sub-indices increased by one and decreased by two index points respectively.

“It appears that local traders are now finding it easier to push through price increases as the higher prices of imported goods and services provide the room to do so,” said Sacci.

“The rand exchange rate weakened by 2.5 percent between June and May 2014 as the rand came under renewed pressure.”

Expected prices for both sales and inputs were to increase over the next six months but less than expected in January.

Sacci said the seasonally adjusted trade expectations index (TEI) decreased by four points to 55 from 59 in May.

The prospects for employment in the trade sector improved slightly to 49 following the earlier increase by two index points in May. - Sapa

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