Just like that 2018 is almost at its end. Here are some of the numbers that stood out in the year that was.
The starting rand/US Dollar exchange rate for 2018. It peaked at around R15.60 after the release of GDP growth in the second quarter, indicating a recession. The rate now sits closer to R14.17.
The year to date decline in the local stock exchange's All-Share Index (ALSI). We're on track to see the lowest annual return in the last nine years.
The biggest winner's year to date return on our local stock exchange, Sabvest Ltd. Sabvest has significant interests in five unlisted industrial groups, long-term direct and indirect holdings in eight listed investments and equity funds.
The largest decline in our local stock exchange. Group Five, a local construction company, takes the title.
The highest year to date return across all global stock exchanges. The exchange in question covers the Ukranian market. (The value above is calculated after converting their local price levels to rands.) Second place went to the Macedonian Stock exchange at 43%.
The number of finance ministers South Africa has had in 2018. We started the year with Malusi Gigaba, switched to Nhlanhla Nene and we're now being steered by Tito Mboweni. Mboweni finds himself battling rampant unemployment and slow economic growth. His focus now is getting SA back to investment grade in order to bring more funding into the country.
The decline this year in the Rand Bitcoin price per Luno. Bitcoin has fallen from grace as investors realised that use cases were slower to materialise and regulatory challenges could limit its future impact.
The difference between the year's opening fuel price and its peak in October. Fortunately, fuel has recently become more affordable. The difference is now considerably smaller.
The increase in the UberX and UberXL rate per km. This comes under mounting pressure from drivers who are struggling under high fuel prices. Uber has also changed to a tiered commission - they charge drivers based on their rating and terms of service.
The increase in pay that government ministers will be receiving. Ramaphosa rejected a recommendation for a 4% increase in their salaries. His spokesperson had the following to say, "The state [must] be considerate, responsive and demonstrate restraint, especially during periods of economic hardship, when determining the level of salary increases for public representatives."
The decline in global oil prices priced in US$. November saw the biggest weakness in prices in about 10 years. Rampant production by the US, Russia and members of OPEC drove a surplus of supply.