South Africa's struggling construction industry managed to brush off major blows, including KwaZulu-Natal's floods and load shedding, and continue its recovery in the second quarter of 2022, with some encouraging signs of further growth in the third, according to the latest Afrimat Construction Index.
The index, compiled by economist Roelof Botha, rose 2.4% from the first quarter to 117.4 points in the quarter ending June, driven by a surge in the value of buildings completed, along with an almost double-digit improvement in employment. The second quarter figure means activity is 17.4% higher than the first three months of 2011, a period used as a benchmark for comparison.
Botha told Fin24 on Monday that he was rather optimistic about further improvement activity in the third quarter, citing signs including growth in the volume of building materials sales, which can be regarded as a leading indicator. "I'm rather bullish ... if inflation peaks soon and the Reserve Bank is not overzealous in its hawkish stance," he said. It was also traditional for activity in the industry to ramp up during the year, said Botha, like a "machine that takes time to warm up".