SA business confidence stable for January - Sacci

SA's business confidence index was stable for January, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced on Wednesday.  

The BCI index came in at 95.1 index points for January, an increase of 0.1 index points month-on-month.

At 95.1 the index is slightly lower than the average for 2018 (95.5), but higher than 2017 (94.4) and 2016 (93.5).

"[…] In general the assessment is that the economy and the business climate are better placed for improved performances than the sentimental euphoria of a year ago," said Sacci, referring to an initial bout of 'Ramaphoria' that boosted business confidence a year ago in January 2018, before subsiding.

"The realism of challenges facing the economy has clearly emerged while the ability of the economy to adhere to expectations are more sobering."

The Sacci release comes a day after the IHS Markit Purchasing Manager's Index showed broadly similar findings, with business conditions in the private sector stabalising, which reflected a "settled economy".

In a commentary published alongside the data, the Chamber said improved investor confidence in SA remained the "panacea to higher economic growth in 2019 and beyond".

"Dealing effectively with institutions and individuals involved with adverse business practices in the public domain becomes an important element for restoring confidence. Of equal importance is creating the attraction for investors when the Davos investment destination imperatives are implemented."

It said investors would be looking closely at Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's maiden Budget, set to be presented on February 20 in Cape Town, to see whether he will promote investor- friendly policies.

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