South Africa's business confidence improves in March
South Africa’s business confidence continued its recovery in March supported by merchandise export and import volumes,
after the confidence had fallen to its lowest in more than two decades in December, a survey showed on Thursday.
The Business Confidence Index (BCI) rose to 81.2 in March from 80.1 the previous month, with six of the 13 sub-indices in positive territory, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said in a statement.
“The largest positive monthly contribution came from merchandise export volumes, merchandise import volumes and share prices,” SACCI said.
“The weighted rand exchange rate made a lesser but also positive contribution.”
The index slipped to 79.6 in December, its lowest in 23 years, after President Jacob Zuma changed two finance ministers within a week and bets of interest rate hikes in the United States.
SACCI however said the business climate outlook remained tough.
“Given the sluggish growth performance of the world economy and low international commodity prices, the local economy will continue to experience major challenges.”
South Africa’s economy is expected to grow by 0.9 percent in 2016, the Treasury has said.