The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) improved by 2.8 index points to 93.3 points in September, from 90.5 points in August.
The BCI was in line with the 93 points measured in September 2017.
Sacci stated that the present business climate and restrained economic momentum originate from the economic and business environment experienced over the past three years.
Four of the 13 subindices of the composite BCI improved in September, compared with August, while five were unchanged and four were negative.
Merchandise export volumes, new-vehicle sales and lower inflation were the most notable positive month-on-month contributors to the improvement in the BCI in September.
“The marginally higher BCI in September 2018 versus September 2017, was mainly the result of increased merchandise export volumes.
“Two of the seven real-activity indices made positive year-on-year impacts on the BCI in September, while one (real cost of finance) of the six financial subindices, had a positive year-on-year effect on the business climate,” the chamber noted.
The initiatives of the economic stimulus and recovery package, which was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this month, should be outlined in more detail over the coming months.
“It remains imperative to create and build institutional capabilities to implement and translate policy, plans and ideas into actual outcomes that can be measured and monitored,” Sacci stated.
Meanwhile, business confidence should benefit from the upcoming Medium Term Budget Policy Statement later this month, and from the Jobs Summit held earlier this month.
“These should provide direction and policy clarity to ultimately shift South Africa out of the current technical recession and away from stagflation, which may be costly and difficult to eradicate once it starts, both in social terms and on the budget deficit,” said Sacci.