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Building|Business|Environment|Export|Tourism
Building|Business|Environment|Export|Tourism
building|business|environment|export|tourism

Domestic perseverance keeps business confidence afloat, Sacci reports

18th April 2023

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

     

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After having shed 4.4 index points in January and one index point in February, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) Business Confidence Index (BCI) declined by a further 0.6 of an index point in March to 111.3.

Despite a total decline of six index points since December 2022, the BCI increased by 1.6 index points year-on-year to reach 112 in the first quarter of this year.

From February to March, the business environment experienced a mixed state of affairs with four of the 14 subindices of the BCI turning negative, five being neutral and five making a positive impact on the index.

Among the more notable positive subindices were increased merchandise export volumes, more overseas tourists and higher new-vehicle sales.

Inward tourism and new-vehicle sales had a notable positive year-on-year effect on the BCI.

The BCI was impacted at various levels by electricity supply issues, with loadshedding remaining a strain on business, while the rand price of fuel was relatively stable.

However, Sacci highlights that the lagged and knock-on effect of electricity supply shortages on the economy and business confidence are of “major cost concern”.

The negative month-on-month impacts of the declining real value of building plans passed, lower JSE share prices and rising real interest rates are of concern to business prospects going forward, the chamber notes.

Sacci adds that the business climate changed only slightly over the medium-term (year-on-year) with the BCI having increased by 0.8 of an index point compared with March 2022, thereby suggesting the degree to which businesses are factoring in a tighter business environment.

Going forward, the chamber says the business environment remains sensitive as a number of factors are likely to have an impact on the business ecosystem.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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