Johannesburg - Trade conditions remained in positive territory in November, the
SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) said on Wednesday as it
released its monthly survey.
The Trade Activity Index (TAI), which reflects current trade
conditions, remained at 51 in November 2009, Sacci said.
"This is now the third consecutive month that the TAI was in
"The steady recovery in the index from a low of 32 in April 2009
was sustained by the TAI remaining in positive territory in
Sacci said the TAI was likely to improve in the medium term as
trade expectations improved at a robust pace.
The sub-index on sales volumes improved by three index points to
59 in November, while the new orders index remained virtually
unchanged at 50 in November 2009.
The supplier deliveries index declined slightly to 48 in
November from 51 in October.
"Although in negative territory, supply conditions are not under
strain, but it is rather a seasonal phenomenon of the pre-holiday
period," Sacci said.
The marginal decrease in the inventory index to 47 in November
2009 still left inventories seven points above the July 2009
The index on selling prices remained on 49 following the 50 of
September 2009 while the input price index increased marginally by
one point to 53 in November 2009, Sacci said.
"Inflationary pressures therefore remain mild given that tight
trade conditions do not allow for abnormal price setting."
Looking six months ahead, respondents were more optimistic as
the Trade Expectations Index (TEI) improved by eight points to 63
in November 2009 following the 55 of October 2009.
"Although the October 2009 TEI was possibly a correction of an
overly optimistic outlook in September 2009, the November 2009 TEI
reading supports a more optimistic trend."
Sacci said sales expectations surged ahead by 10 points from 64
in October 2009 to 74 in November 2009.
Expectations for new orders registered 67 - up from 58 in
October 2009 - following a strong recovery from the cautious
October 2009 outlook.
The index on six month prospects for supplier deliveries also
improved notably, Sacci said.
It said that contrary to the positive outlook for future trade
conditions, expectations for lower inflation for the next six
months weakened markedly in November 2009.
The indices on expected input prices rose by six index points to
68 after remaining at 62 in October 2009.
The selling price sub-index increased by eight index points to
67 in November 2009 and was in part the result of expected
increases in input costs (electricity tariffs, salaries, the fuel
price) and lower turnover volumes.
Current employment conditions in the trade environment remained
virtually unchanged in November as the employment index measured
"Employment prospects, however, improved to 52 in November 2009
from 45 in October 2009 and is in positive territory for the first
time since August 2008," Sacci said.