CAPE TOWN – The materially higher tax burden on South Africans has been cited as one of the key factors behind the decline in the country’s business confidence index (BCI) and a consumption-led recovery is not anticipated for South Africa.
After remaining unchanged at 28 during the second quarter, the Rand Merchant Bank and Bureau of Economic Research (RMB/BER) BCI dropped to 21 in the third quarter, as 79 percent of businesses surveyed found business conditions unsatisfactory.
This reading effectively means eight out of every 10 respondents are unsatisfied with prevailing business conditions, according to the RMB/BER report.
The RMB/BER BCI reflects the results of a survey of 1 800 business people. The bulk of the responses were submitted between 14 August and 2 September, which was before the latest outbreak of xenophobic attacks.
The biggest decline was in the wholesale and retail sectors, with the manufacturing and building sectors declining as well.