See More

Trade conditions defy weak economy

Nov 14 2012 12:42 Sapa

Related Articles

Informal sector boosts SA jobs

Labour strife knocks SA growth forecast

Sarb sees strikes curbing growth

SA unemployment on the rise

SA ranked 74th in prosperity stakes

Two years before SA growth will improve

Johannesburg - South Africa's trade conditions have escaped a poor economic situation plagued by strikes and downgrades, the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Wednesday.

Sacci said the seasonally adjusted trade activity index (TAI) - which indicates how businesses feel about current trading conditions - increased to 50 points in October, after dropping four point in the previous month.

An index level below 50 represents negative territory, while one above 50 is positive.

The non-seasonally adjusted TAI moved into positive territory for the first time since May 2012. The TAI was two points above the index for October 2011.

"After trade conditions appeared to be moulded in negative territory, all the sub-components of trade activity, apart from employment, turned positive," Sacci said in a statement.

"The negative business sentiment associated with the labour disruptions in September 2012 caused a shift in the pre-festive season business trade towards October."

Sacci said a resurgence of sales and new orders in October also happened before the holiday period. Sales and input prices edged up slightly between September and October 2012.

Sacci said that despite the positive activity index, the increase in labour costs, higher utility tariffs and a notable weakening of the rand in October would negatively impact trade prices.

The six-month trade expectations index (TEI), which measures consumer feel about the projected period, slipped to 53 in October from 55 in September.

"In the first quarter and second quarter of 2012 the TEI averaged 65 and 61 respectively. The uncertain circumstances in the South African economy continued to taint the outlook for trade conditions."

Sacci said there was often a wide gap between the TEI and the TAI.

"The small margin is an indication of uncertainty and reduced optimism about the short-term," iti said.

"The expectations for sales and new orders remained under pressure... [however] supplier deliveries are expected to remain stable as it appears to have been resilient in the face of the transport strike."

Employment conditions in the trade environment became tighter in October and stayed in the negative as the employment index declined by one point to 47.

Employment prospects were also down. The index registered 46 in October compared to 49 in September 2012.
Sacci said the present labour market instability was creating a negative impact on employment opportunities.
sa economy


Lastest Articles

Here is how to check your credit score and manage it Read More...
Top tips to save money over the festive period Read More...
These are the top 5 most fuel efficient cars in SA Read More...
What to consider when switching medical aid schemes

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

Brought to you by BizNews

More from BizNews

We're talking about:

Small Business

Retailers of any shape and size can now unlock the power of mobile transacting.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...