World is buy­ing more SA cars, but growth’s still go­ing nowhere

Sunday Times - - Business Opinion & Bits -

NEW-VE­HI­CLE ex­ports hit an an­nual record of 351,154 in 2018 fol­low­ing a 56% surge in ship­ments in De­cem­ber. The achieve­ment helped com­pen­sate for an­other un­sat­is­fac­tory lo­cal sales per­for­mance. Sales to cus­tomers in SA slipped 1.9% in De­cem­ber from the cor­re­spond­ing month of 2017. As a re­sult, ful­lyear 2018 sales of all ve­hi­cles fell 1% from the pre­vi­ous year.

A gauge mea­sur­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try ex­panded for the first time in nine months in De­cem­ber as new-sales and ex­port orders im­proved. Absa’s pur­chas­ing man­agers’ in­dex rose to 50.7 from 49.5 in Novem­ber, breach­ing the neu­tral 50point mark for the first time since Fe­bru­ary 2018.

A new set of cor­po­rate gov­er­nance guide­lines is on its way for the JSE’s strug­gling real es­tate sec­tor, which in 2018 de­liv­ered its worst per­for­mance since the for­ma­tion of the South African listed prop­erty in­dex in 2002.

SA will be one of the worst per­form­ers in sub­Sa­ha­ran Africa in 2019, with growth of just 1.3%, ac­cord­ing to the World Bank. Its an­nual Global Eco­nomic Prospects re­port says SA’s growth is sub­stan­tially lower than the 3.7% pro­jected av­er­age for sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa. The fore­cast rate is also lower than the Trea­sury’s pre­dic­tion of 1.7% for 2019 and the Re­serve Bank’s 1.9%.

THE de­part­ment of agri­cul­ture has quar­an­tined an area in Vhembe, Lim­popo, fol­low­ing pos­i­tive lab­o­ra­tory re­sults for foot-and-mouth dis­ease in cat­tle in the dis­trict. The de­part­ment and the Lim­popo Vet­eri­nary Ser­vices are con­duct­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions to ver­ify the re­sults and de­ter­mine the ex­tent of the out­break.

WOOL­WORTHS had to make an em­bar­rass­ing apol­ogy when it “ac­knowl­edged” there were “strik­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties” be­tween its baby car­rier and one made by a lo­cal busi­ness.

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