The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) Business Confidence Index (BCI) recovered to 94.9 in June 2017 from 93.2 in May 2017 and 95.1 in June 2016. SACCI said that given the unpredictable economic and political situation, business remained resilient.
The main contribution to the monthly improvement to the BCI in June 2017 was made by higher merchandise import and export volumes, the improved rand exchange rate weighted against the US dollar, British pound and the euro, and increased new vehicle sales. The largest negative monthly contribution to the BCI was the decline in share prices on the JSE, which have essentially traded sideways since peaking in April 2015.
The stronger weighted rand exchange rate, increased merchandise import volumes and lower consumer inflation made the most notable positive year-to-year contributions to the BCI between June 2017 and June 2016.
Exports reached a record R105bn in May, but there was very little coverage of this milestone with no government minister mentioning it in public. This was only the third time that exports have exceeded R100bn with the other times being March 2017 and June 2016.
By Helmo Preuss