Registered users can save articles to their personal articles list. Login here or sign up here

Business confidence falls to five-month low in February

Business confidence is strangled by policy and political uncertainty.

South Africa’s business confidence deteriorated in February, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Wednesday, with its index falling to 93.4 from 95.1 in January, the lowest reading since September.

Confidence in the economy has been strangled by policy and political uncertainty. Investors are sceptical about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ability to deliver reform ahead of national elections in May, while nationwide electricity blackouts have resumed.

“The upcoming elections do not only serve as an opportunity to establish credible representation, but also provide a platform to come to a rational and sustainable economic policy framework,” Sacci said in a statement.

On Tuesday, data showed the economy, Africa’s most industrialised, grew 0.8% in 2018, slower than the 1.4% seen a year earlier. Growth in the final quarter was 1.4%, driven by agriculture and manufacturing.

Analysts said the figures showed growth would remain tepid in 2019, with the Treasury’s modest forecast of a 1.5% expansion in gross domestic product in danger after recent power cuts by state utility Eskom.

Business confidence initially jumped after Ramaphosa replaced scandal-prone Jacob Zuma as president in February 2018, pledging to reverse a decade of policy mis-steps that hampered growth and investment.

But that euphoria has waned as investors fret about the slow pace of reforms promised by the billionaire businessman, who is also under pressure to maintain the ruling African National Congress’s (ANC) electoral majority at polls due in May.

Get access to Moneyweb's financial intelligence and support quality journalism for only
R63/month or R630/year.
Sign up here, cancel at any time.


To comment, you must be registered and logged in.


Don't have an account?
Sign up for FREE

The only surprise here is that the index didn’t plummet more. The ANC has literally destroyed everything it has laid its hands on. The only area it has excelled at is exporting the brainpower and taxpayers of the country.

End of comments.


Insider GOLD
ONLY R63pm

Moneyweb's premium subscription is a membership service which will give you access to a number of tools to take charge of your investments.
Or choose a yearly subscription at R630pa - SAVE R126

Get instant access to all our tools and content. Monthly subscription can be suspended at any time.



Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company: