JOHANNESBURG, The Business Confidence Index (BCI) in December did not change much from November, and the overall level for 2019 was the worst since 1985, said the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) on Thursday. SACCI said the BCI in December was 93.1, 0.4 point higher than in November, however, it was 2.1 index points below the level of the same period in 2018. The BCI reflects how businesses are reacting to and how they are experiencing the business environment. “The largest monthly positive impacts on the BCI came from merchandise import volumes, the real value of building plans passed, new vehicle sales, and manufacturing output. Real merchandise exports and energy supply (due to load shedding and oil price), had notable negative monthly impacts on the BCI in December,” said Sacci’s economist Richard Downing. Downing said the country’s economy is not performing well, with the annual level of the BCI for 2019 at the lowest since 1985, when South Africa was feeling the impact of economic sanctions. “Indications are that the economy’s potential is wavering and requires positive corrective steps to direct the economy in an appropriate direction. With South Africa’s structural challenges impacting on our global competitiveness, the business climate has remained murky,” he said. Downing said they expect the state of the nation address to be presented by President Cyril Ramaphosa early next month and budget will show the direction the country is moving towards.

Source: African News Agency