February a strong month – index

The longer oil prices remained low, along with an absence of industrial action, the better for the economy.

February saw the strongest growth in economic transactions in 17 months, according to the latest BankservAfrica Economic Transaction Index (BETI), released on Wednesday.

The BETI grew 2.1% year-on-year, in the absence of major strikes in the first quarter of the year and substantially below-trend oil prices.

The monthly growth from January to February was 1.8%, the strongest since April 2011.

In February, 81.2 million transactions were recorded, with the average value of each increasing by 3.9%.

BankservAfrica head data analyst Caroline Belrose said the monthly and quarter increases had been stronger than predicted, given power outages and the negativity of weaker world growth prospects.

The longer oil prices remained low, along with an absence of industrial action, the better for the economy, said economists.co.za chief economist Mike Schüssler.

“The weaker rand is also likely to be helping marginal mines and factories remain in production, adding some stability to the growth picture too.”

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