‘Job creation better in 2012’

2011-09-14 00:00

WHILE 2011 is the year of job losses rather than job creation, there is hope for 2012.

So says Neren Rau, chief executive of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci).

He told The Witness that although 2011 cannot be rescued from an economic perspective, there is hope that 2012 will be a better year.

Far from being “the year of job creation” as proclaimed by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address in Parliament in February, 2011 has produced disappointing results on the economic growth and employment fronts.

Two key business confidence indices declined last week.

Trade conditions remained steady in August 2011, recovering somewhat.

The chamber’s latest trade activity index (TAI), released, yesterday grew on a seasonally adjusted basis from 38 points in July to 48 points in August.

This level is bordering on positive territory for the TAI.

Improvements were noted in all categories of the TAI, namely sales volumes, new orders, supplier deliveries, inventory levels and employment.

The forward-looking Sacci trade expectations index (TEI), which canvasses business owners’ expectations of conditions in the next six months, improved to 57 points in August from 52 points in July.

Rau said that although inflation has been contained relatively well, this could also be interpreted as an indication of weak trade conditions for businesses, as many of them have had to absorb higher input costs rather than passing them on to consumers.

“This would eat into their margins,” he said.

Rau expressed concern at the fact that the employment component of the survey remains in negative territory.

Employment services group Adcorp said in its latest employment index, released on Monday, that the August figures translate into an annual job loss rate of 49 306 workers.

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