Trade activity sharply down in December

2008-01-17 00:00

Current trade conditions in South Africa worsened substantially in December, according to a survey released yesterday by the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

The Trade Activity Index (TAI) dropped to 44 in December from 58 in November.

Richard Downing, an economist with SACCI, told The Witness December is usually a quiet period for many non-retail sectors, particularly business trade. The November activity index is fuelled particularly by business trade as companies strive to meet order deadlines ahead of the festive season shopping rush, he added.

The index, part of the SACCI Trade Conditions Survey for December 2007, is at its lowest level in more than four and a half years. The Trade Expectations Index increased from 55 in November to 57 in December. It hovered between 66 and 69 in early 2007. However, the sub-index on expectations for new orders increased to 58 in December from 55 in November.

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