South Africa business confidence improves in November

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A woman roasts maize cobs on the side of the road in Lawley informal settlement in the south of Johannesburg, South Africa, April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South African business confidence recovered slightly in November as the volume of exports rose and private sector borrowing ticked up, a survey showed on Thursday.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SACCI) monthly business confidence index (BCI) rose to 92.7 in November from 91.7 in October.

“The increase in the BCI in November must be repeated in the months to come to have a lasting effect on business confidence level,” the business body said in a statement.

Five sub-indices improved, four weakened, and four remained even.

Business confidence in Africa’s most developed economy has remained on the ropes in the last 18 or so months since President Cyril Ramaphosa took over, promising deep policy reforms and faster growth. Progress has so far been slow on both fronts.

Gross domestic product shrank by 0.6% in the third quarter according to data on Tuesday, a second quarterly contraction in 2019, with companies slashing inventories in a sign they expected weak demand to persist into the year-end.

“The effect of indecisiveness and the time lapses to taking action are going to impact critically on the economy and therefore business and investor confidence as year-end approaches,” SACCI said.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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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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