South Africa’s business confidence is rising, a new survey shows

People walk near the reception at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa December 10, 2015. REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko
People walk near the reception at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa December 10, 2015. REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko

The Rand Merchant Bank / Bureau of Economic Research (RMB / BER) business confidence index, released on Wednesday, showed that the business climate in South Africa rose 15 points to 50 in the second quarter of 2021.

Around 1,300 business people from the construction, manufacturing, retail, wholesale and automotive trade sectors were surveyed. The 50 points mean that the number of respondents who are satisfied with the prevailing terms and conditions is the same as those who are dissatisfied.

It is “a result that we have not seen in years,” said Ettienne le Roux, chief economist at RMB.

The result showed that confidence in manufacturing, retail and motoring has increased particularly sharply. By contrast, the mood among construction companies and wholesalers improved only slightly.

“In order for the current economic recovery to develop into a lasting economic upswing, jobs must be created in the end, and for that, capital investment must be accelerated. To that end, it would be helpful if the government accelerated its infrastructure work while quickly implementing overdue business-friendly reforms, ”he said.

Le Roux pointed out that there are some risks like the third wave of COVID-19, the threat of additional lockdown restrictions and load shedding that could easily affect confidence in the time ahead.

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