Business confidence recovers


12 July 2012

South African business confidence improved in June following the dip in May, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) reported on Wednesday, while cautioning that the uncertain global situation would test the recovery going forward.

Sacci’s Business Confidence Index (BCI) improved by 2.1 points to 94.9 in June.

“A substantial annual gap in the BCI of 8.4 points developed between May 2011 and May 2012, but narrowed to 7.5 points between June 2011 and June 2012,” Sacci said in a statement.

The dip in the Business Confidence Index (BCI) in May 2012 was followed by notable improvements in the sub-indices in June 2012. While only two of the 13 sub-indices of the BCI were positive on a month-on-month basis in May, eight sub-indices turned positive, with one remaining unchanged in June 2012.

The majority of the sub-indices in both the financial and real economic divisions of the BCI were positive in June.

“The annual comparison of the sub-indices was less convincing, where five of the 13 sub-indices improved in June 2012 and one remained unchanged,” Sacci said.

“The financial environment was less supportive of a positive business mood than a year ago, while there were signs that the real economic environment may have consolidated.”

Although the improvement in business confidence is important, the recovery of the BCI in June may still be tested given the uncertain global economic situation.

Sacci said the need for market-driven private sector fixed investment from local as well as foreign investors remained vital.

“Although business confidence has strayed from its current downward trend originating in March 2012, the promotion of a domestic environment that is nurturing to the supply-side of the economy could cause a more lasting directional change in business confidence,” the chamber said.