South Africa’s business confidence rises again in December

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s business confidence index rose for a second month in a row in December, due in part to political developments that have raised expectations of policy certainty and economic reforms, a chamber of commerce survey showed on Wednesday.
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SACCI) monthly business confidence index (BCI) rose to 96.4 in December from 95.1 in November.

“The BCI improved on a more positive business mood and political developments that are expected to put South Africa in a position for more encouraging business and economic policy options,” SACCI said in a statement.

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) elected businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as head of the party in December, sparking a rally in the rand and financial assets as investors view him as business-friendly and pro-reform.

The continent’s most industrialised economy slumped into recession in the first quarter of 2017 before recovering, but investor and consumer confidence have remained subdued due to political scandals and credit rating downgrades to junk.

Higher foreign merchandise trade volumes and lower inflation had a positive influence on the index in December, while retail sales and lower share prices had the biggest negative monthly impact on the index, the chamber said.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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