Evaluating the market – The International Economy Economic growth in South Africa’s major trading partners has a major influence on our exports. When economic growth increases our exports will also increase and vice versa. The current economic slowdown in the United States and elsewhere can already be felt in certain export sectors. Furthermore, a global economic slowdown has a very negative influence on commodity prices. South Africa is still a major commodity exporter and is therefore severely affected by commodity prices. Commodity shares will usually be the first to react to a global economic slowdown. Declining exports will also affect our trade balance and therefore put pressure on the exchange rate of the Rand. Pressure on the Rand may lead to an increase in interest rates, which is negative for the stock market.