The BER strives to act as your “virtual” in-house economics department by staying in regular contact with clients through the distribution of data, in-depth comments on economic developments, regular forecast updates and our unique business and consumer survey data. An important feature of the service is the in-house, or virtual, economic presentations provided by a BER economist.
Clients have a choice between our comprehensive Macro Service that includes all the research done at the BER, and the Executive Service that is more limited in scope. Both services are 12-month subscription products with the Macro Service the flagship BER offering. Depending on client-specific needs, some customisation of the service is possible.
The Macro Service is a comprehensive economic consultancy service. The central focus is to analyse and forecast macroeconomic conditions and to convey this information in a way that is relevant to a specific company, industry or sector. Key areas such as GDP growth, interest rates, inflation and exchange rates are covered. The BER macroeconomic forecast relies on our comprehensive macro-econometric model, our contact with business executives and policy makers, as well as our quarterly business surveys. The forecast is conducted both over the short term (next 18-24 months) and the medium term (next 6 years), with the short-term forecast updated as often as possible. The forecast information serves as valuable input into organisations’ strategic planning processes and contextualises the current and expected operating environment of the organisation within the broader, fast changing, economic cycle. Occasionally, the BER conducts alternative forecast scenarios. These are included in the medium-term forecast publication (Economic Outlook). In addition, Macro Service clients receive all of the BER’s quarterly business and consumer surveys as well as BER Research Notes and Comments. Clients also have access to several monthly and quarterly updated data publications as well as an online data facility to download the latest forecast data.
The Executive Service provides busy company executives with comprehensive short-term analysis and forecasts of the South African economy. In addition, Executive Service clients will receive the BER’s quarterly business and consumer surveys as well as BER Comments. Clients will have access to several monthly and quarterly-updated data publications.
A hand-selected dataset of key monthly, quarterly and annual South African, provincial and international economic data and forecasts in Excel & PowerPoint format.
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The BER Building Cost Index (BCI) is a measure of the percentage change in average building costs in South Africa. It is based on an analysis of the tariffs (rates) in accepted tenders supplied by quantity surveyors (QS). Subscribers to the BER BCI Information Service will receive quarterly reports including:
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A cornerstone of the BER's work over the years has been its regular business surveys. The information from the surveys (which the BER processes into workable time series data and publishes in quarterly reports, namely the Retail Survey, Manufacturing Survey and Building and Construction Survey and Other Services reports) has a proven track record as exceptionally reliable given the correspondence with the available official statistics as published by Statistics South Africa and the South African Reserve Bank. The surveys provide unique information, such as overall business confidence, as well as respondents’ rating of current business conditions. Except for the other services survey which is available to Macro clients only, these publications are part of the BER’s Macro and Executive Service and can also be purchased individually on our website. In addition to the quarterly business survey, the monthly manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index™ (PMI™) tracks conditions in the South African factory sector on a month-to-month basis.
Apart from the business surveys mentioned above, the BER conducts several other surveys in various sectors of the economy in order to better gauge current economic conditions. The consumer survey measures consumer confidence and provides additional information about the expected performance of the economy, the expected financial position of households and the rating of the appropriateness of the present time to buy durable goods. The quarterly inflation expectation survey, conducted by the BER and commissioned by the South African Reserve Bank, assesses inflation expectations of financial analysts, business people, trade union officials and households. Finally, the BER publishes the Building Cost Index – a measure of the percentage change in average building costs in South Africa.
Macroeconomic forecasting is one of the BER's core competencies. The 18-24 month forward looking, quarterly forecast is generated during January, April, July and October of each year and published in the Economic Prospects publication. Regular (monthly) updates to the 2-year quarterly forecasts are provided in Update.
The 6-year forecast is updated in April and October and is published in Economic Outlook. On occasion, the BER undertakes a long-term (roughly 15-year) baseline and scenario forecast round. These results are then published in Economic Outlook.
The BER publishes several monthly data publications, ranging from a concise graphical overview of general economic conditions in Snapshot and a fact sheet of key economic data and financial indicators in Update , to the more comprehensive economic statistics handbook named Trends and the summary of key monthly, quarterly and annual South African and international economic data in numBERs.
The BER Weekly is a short report that reviews important global and domestic financial market and economic data developments of the previous week. BER Comments are brief notes on the BER’s interpretation of economic events, including the South African Reserve Bank interest rate decision and other key data releases, (such as GDP figures). Included is a comment highlighting the key results and broader macroeconomic implications of the BER’s Business Surveys.
The BER conducts ad hoc macroeconomic presentations on request from non-clients. The BER economist will endeavour to provide a presentation appropriate to the client’s sector or industry, but the emphasis remains on the broader Macroeconomic Outlook. For more information, please contact us.
The BER conducts ad hoc research on request from both clients and non-clients. The BER relies on in-house expertise, as well as its capacity to contract research out in the event of this being necessary, to provide the highest quality research output possible. The BER reserves the right not to conduct research if it does not comply with our ad hoc research criteria. Should you wish to enquire about the BER's ad hoc research, please contact us.
The BER hosts events in Cape Town and Johannesburg. BER conferences and breakfasts provide delegates with the latest forecasts as well as in-depth analyses of economic and political developments. The conferences are renowned for the quality of the speakers. At these events, delegates can listen to and engage with influential policy makers, business leaders, decision makers and other attendees.
The BER conducts ad-hoc research on request from both clients and non-clients. The BER also relies on its capacity to contract research out in the event of this being necessary. Should you wish to enquire about the BER's ad hoc research, please contact the BER’s Macro Service Manager Cobus Venter. Some previous BER ad-hoc research reports are listed below: