THE POSER FOR 2019

Financial Mail - - EDITORIALS -

It has been a quiet De­cem­ber at the Union Build­ings. No fi­nance min­is­ters have been fired, no more credit down­grades have as­sailed the coun­try. You’d al­most think things are go­ing in the right di­rec­tion.

The good news is that if all the dice fall on the right num­bers, then SA is ac­tu­ally in a prime spot for a re­vival. The only thing is, the con­sen­sus is that global growth will slow slightly next year.

Then, it’s about where those dice land. Should Eskom’s sit­u­a­tion de­te­ri­o­rate, or SA fail to keep a tight rein on the land is­sue, or Moody’s junk SA’S sov­er­eign rat­ing, the econ­omy will take a hit. But if that doesn’t hap­pen, and Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa gets a solid elec­tion vic­tory for the ANC and can im­ple­ment sweep­ing changes to his cab­i­net and ac­cel­er­ate pol­icy re­form, in­vestors will be­lieve they can bank on SA again.

Ei­ther way, ex­pect eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in SA to re­main muted for at least the next six months, based purely on do­mes­tic fac­tors. Then we’ll have to see what hap­pens in an ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment.

If the US Fed in­creases in­ter­est rates by more than ex­pected, the rand could take a hit, SA in­ter­est rates could rise and the econ­omy could tip into a re­ces­sion.

But, for­tu­nately, the prob­a­bil­ity of an im­mi­nent US or SA re­ces­sion is low. Which means SA could have a lot more to smile about in 2019. Gen­eral num­ber: (011) 280-3710/3183

Sub­scrip­tion cus­tomer ser­vices hot­line: Do­mes­tic 0860-131313. E-mail: sub­scrip­tion­feed­[email protected] Sub­scrip­tions (an­nual rates: 50 is­sues): South Africa R1,105; R1,040 (se­nior cit­i­zens).

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