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Business confidence index falls in December

The index fell on lower exports, fewer new vehicle sales and a decline in planned construction.

South African business confidence dipped in December on lower exports, fewer new vehicle sales and a decline in planned construction, a survey showed on Thursday.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci) monthly business confidence index (BCI) fell to 95.2 in December from 96.1 in November.

Seven of the survey’s 13 sub-indices had a negative impact in December, the business body said in a statement.

“The task of restoring the business and investor climate remains a major challenge,” Sacci said, describing the current business climate as “hesitant”.

After a strong start to 2018, business confidence wavered for much of the past year as planned land and mining reforms unnerved investors.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who faces a critical election this year, is trying to revive the economy after a decade of stagnation, but he has been frustrated by fiscal constraints and infighting in the ruling African National Congress.

“The general assessment is that the present-day administration acknowledges the huge challenges ahead and the role a sound economy could play in addressing it,” Sacci said.

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