The Business Confidence Index (BCI) for the month of July has recorded 96.0 compared to 95.1 in June, a monthly improvement of 0.9 index points, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said on Monday.
SACCI said the July BCI was nonetheless 5.8 index points lower than that of the comparative period last year, with marginally less impediments in the real business environment and five of the seven sub-indices improving month-on-month.
The chamber released the July BCI in Johannesburg on Monday, saying the annual BCI comparison did not indicate any material change in the subdued business climate in the real economy or the tight financial environment of a year ago.
The main monthly positive contributions to the BCI came in the order of firstly the rand exchange rate, merchandise export volumes, real retail sales and the US dollar gold and platinum price.
Building plans passed, new vehicle sales, and inflation had the largest negative monthly effects in July.
SACCI also said South Africa experienced stronger merchandise export trade in June and July, while the rand gained a healthy plus-10% on a weighted rand exchange rate against the US dollar, British pound and the euro.
But SACCI expressed concern that the IMF and the Reserve Bank had lowered South Africa’s economic growth projections.
With the probability of a credit ratings downgrade in December, SACCI said caution must be exercised on vulnerable economic issues over the short to medium term.
– African News Agency (ANA)