About BER
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History

1944 BER founded as an economic research institute attached to the University of Stellenbosch. Prof CGW Schumann was appointed as the first BER Director and along with one researcher and part time assistance from lecturers and students, its work started.
 
1948 First publication “Industrial and Commercial Share price.indices in South Africa,” by C.G.W. Schumann and A.E. Scheurkogel. The culmination of a project in which price indices for shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange were noted and compiled.
 
1950 Second publication: “Economic Fluctuations in South Africa 1910 – 1949,” by J.C. du Plessis.
 
1953 Research regarding the possibility of conducting a quarterly opinion survey of business conditions in the trade and manufacturing sectors commenced.
 
1954 The first business surveys were conducted amongst manufacturers and retailers.
 
1956 “A survey of post-war economic conditions in the Union of South Africa” is published.
 
1966 Publication of the first medium-term forecast.
 
1969 Building contractors and sub-contractors were added to the survey panel and a Building Cost Index was started.
 
1973 Prof Jan Sadie appointed as Director.
 
1975 Consumer Survey launched in South Africa. Refinement of the retail, wholesale and motor trade surveys.
 
1980 The BER develops its first annual model.
 
1981 The first quarterly model is estimated.
 
1983 Prof Attie De Vries appointed as Director. An econometric model of the South African economy was developed to generate macro-economic forecasts.
 
1985 Dr Ockie Stuart appointed as Director.
 
1986 Architects and quantity surveyors were added to the survey panel.
 
1988 The BER hosts its first conference in Cape Town.
 
1997 Civil engineers added to the survey panel.
 
1998 Prof Ben Smit appointed as Director.
 
1999 BER establishes itself as a full-scale economic consultancy business/service. The first Purchasing Managers Survey was launched in South Africa.
 
2000 The Inflation expectation survey launched in South Africa
 
2002 A retail and investment bank survey was launched. The BER wins the prestigious Reuters Economist of the year award
 
2003 BER conducts a survey to measure the impact of HIV/Aids on business in South Africa. Asset managers and life insurers were added to round off the financial sector survey.
 
2006 The Economist Internship Programme for previously disadvantaged individuals commenced.
 
2008 A survey of building contractors and civil construction firms registered with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) was launched. BER wins the Reuters Economist of the year award (for 2007).
 
2009 BER awarded the Reuters Economist of the year award for the third time (for 2008)
 
2014 BER awarded the Reuters Economist of the year award for the fourth time (for 2013)