CAPE TOWN – Although the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) Business Confidence Index (BCI) edged up to 93.1 in December 2019 from 92.7 in November 2019 and a 34-year low of 89.1 in August 2019, the BCI declined to an average of 92.6 in 2019 from 95.5 in 2018. It was last above 100 in October 2015.
Six of the thirteen sub-indices of the BCI were unchanged between December and November 2019, four were positive, and three made a negative impact on the BCI in December. The six financial sub-indices on average remained unchanged, while for the seven activity sub-indices, the balance between negative and positive moves in December was slightly positive.
The largest monthly positive impacts on the BCI came from merchandise import volumes, the real value of building plans passed, new vehicle sales, and manufacturing output. Real merchandise exports and energy supply (due to load shedding and oil price), had notable negative monthly impacts on the BCI in December.
SACCI said the third quarter 2019 data on the South African economy reflected an under-performing economy.
“Indications are that the economy’s potential is wavering and requires positive corrective steps to direct the economy in an appropriate direction. The subdued world economy also does not facilitate an export driven recovery. With South Africa’s structural challenges impacting on our global competitiveness, the business climate has remained murky,” it said.