SA business confidence flat, many await government action on corruption

Picture: iStock

Picture: iStock

The business chamber says the present level of business confidence is not at ideal levels but can gain momentum.

The level of business confidence in South Africa has changed little in June compared with May, as all players looked to decisive action from President Cyril Ramaphosa in dealing with corruption, incompetence and non-performance, said the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Thursday.

Sacci’s business confidence index ticked up 0.3 index points to 93.3 in June from May. This is the lowest the index has been in the month of June since 2012.

Six of the thirteen sub-indices of the composite BCI improved on their May levels while three declined and four were unchanged.

Notable positive monthly effects came from the number of new vehicle sales, the real value of building plans passed; manufacturing output and an increase of the all-share price index of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Sacci said the positive sentiment after Ramaphosa’s election in May on the one hand, versus recent reports of a dire financial strain in most state-owned enterprises and municipalities coupled with the auditor-general’s latest negative report for most municipalities on the other, “leaves one with a sense that the two positions are cancelling each other out at this stage when its still too early for realistic business confidence sentiments to develop”.

“What is clear is that all South Africans are expecting decisiveness on the part of government to deal with corruption, incompetence and non-performance, and certainty in urgent implementation of policies to drive economic growth and job creation,” it added.

The business chamber said the present level of business confidence was not at ideal levels but could gain momentum once there were signs that the implementation of set plans and policies was a priority.

“The upcoming government and private sector-driven investment summits and the mid-term budget policy statement later in the year should provide more clarity and detail necessary for businesses to make immediate medium- and long-term investment plans,” Sacci added.

– African News Agency

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