Business confidence flat for November - Sacci

SA's business confidence index was flat for November, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced on Thursday. 

The BCI index came in at 96.1 index points for November, an increase of 0.3 index points month-on-month.

Local business confidence has been increasing since September, after falling to a low of 90.5 points in August. 

"The upward momentum of the BCI since September 2018 appears to have flattened and it is the second time this year that the business climate hesitated after encouraging steps to develop and enhance business confidence," said Sacci.

November's BCI print was supported by improvements in merchandise export and import volumes, the real value of building plans passed and increased manufacturing output.

A year-on-year decline in the JSE's All-Share price index, higher inflation, lower precious metal prices, and stagnant real retail sales weighed the most negatively on the November figures, said Sacci. 

The business chamber said load shedding and the dire state of the debt-laden state power utility Eskom "presents a key risk to real economic activity".

"In November the state owned power enterprise Eskom, as a case in point, again had to revert to load shedding and which presents a key risk to real economic activity. As a cash-strapped state-owned enterprise, debt-ridden Eskom as a critical power supplier is struggling to meet low demand for the economy in recession."

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