SA emerges from re­ces­sion but they’re still down, on the farm

Sunday Times - - Business Opinion & Bits -

SA emerged from its first re­ces­sion in al­most a decade in the third quar­ter as re­cov­er­ies in man­u­fac­tur­ing and agri­cul­ture con­trib­uted to an in­crease in eco­nomic growth. GDP rose by an an­nu­alised 2.2% in the three months through Septem­ber com­pared with a re­vised 0.4% con­trac­tion in the prior quar­ter, Stats SA said.

THE Absa PMI, which gauges ac­tiv­ity in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, rose to 49.5 from 42.4 in Oc­to­ber — the high­est level the in­dex has reached since July 2018. The sur­vey tends to be a good pre­dic­tor of the man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­duc­tion and sales fig­ures Stats SA pro­vides about two months later.

A SUB­STAN­TIAL drop in the price of fuel has brought re­lief to con­sumers gear­ing up for the fes­tive sea­son. Gaut­eng mo­torists are pay­ing R1.84 less for 93 and 95 oc­tane petrol per litre. The price of diesel has dropped by R1.45 and R1.47 re­spec­tively and paraf­fin by R1.78.

CON­FI­DENCE in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor has fallen to the low­est level in nine years on the back of uncer­tainty about land re­form. Fol­low­ing a de­cline from 54 to 48 points in the third quar­ter of 2018, the Ag­biz/IDC agribusi­ness con­fi­dence in­dex dropped to 42 in the fourth quar­ter.

A PROBE into ac­count­ing ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties at Stein­hoff In­ter­na­tional and the re­lease of the re­tailer’s re­stated re­sults have been de­layed, it said. The com­pany said it had to aban­don plans to pub­lish both its 2017 and 2018 fi­nan­cial state­ments by the end of Jan­uary 2019, cit­ing de­lays in a foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­ing con­ducted by au­di­tors PWC.

BUSI­NESS con­fi­dence re­mained flat in Novem­ber, with the South African Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try’s busi­ness con­fi­dence in­dex in­creas­ing by 0.3 of an in­dex point to 96.1. This is one point higher than in Novem­ber last year.

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