The FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index shed 13 points to register a level of 15 in 2017Q3. This marks the lowest confidence since mid-2000. In all, confidence has lost a cumulative 37 index points over the last year.

The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) continued its recent upward trend and rose by 2.9 points to reach 47.8 in October 2017. This was the third consecutive increase and brought the index to the best level since May 2017. Nonetheless, the PMI remained stuck below the neutral 50-point mark.

After plunging from 40 to 29 in the second quarter, the RMB/BER BCI rose by six points to a still low 35 in the third quarter. Following a collapse in the second quarter, at least business activity in general did not deteriorate further. Also, no major new unsettling political events occurred during the survey period. While the small increase in the third quarter RMB/BER BCI is encouraging, the improvement must be seen in the broader context of continued weak domestic demand, subdued business activity, low profitability (for most respondents) and heightened political uncertainty.

After increasing from -10 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to -5 in the first quarter of 2017, the FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) fell back to -9 in the second quarter. Although consumer confidence levels remained depressed and not supportive of meaningful growth in household spending, levels remained above the recent low reached in 2015. The slump in retail sales growth and the decline in new car sales volumes can therefore mainly be attributed to a deterioration in consumers’ ability to spend.

Economic indicators

Key indicators

Fri Nov 24 2017 01:49:06

Rand-Dollar

13.8859

0.44%

Rand-Pound

18.4762

0.39%

Rand-Euro

16.4553

0.74%

Gold

1291.30

0.04%

Platinum

936.00

0.11%

Brent Crude EOD

63.32

0.00%

R186

9.35

-5bps

R207

8.09

-1bps

Share indices (Previous day's close)

Last updated: Thu Nov 23 2017 12:27:42

JSE all-share

60751

-0.75%

JSE Top 40

54494

-1.04%

US S&P 500

2597

-0.08%

German Dax

13015

-1.16%

Japan Nikkei

22523

0.48 %

Please note

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Recent releases

At its final scheduled meeting of 2017, the MPC kept the repo policy interest rate unchanged at 6.75% (prime rate at 10.25%)....Get it here

Last week, retail and wholesale data was released for the domestic economy. The September growth figures completed the picture for the third quarter. In this regard, the growth in retail sales should support GDP growth in Q3, while a significant contraction in wholesale sales will have the opposite effect. Internationally, economic growth was reported to be brisk in the Eurozone (EZ) during the third quarter. It was a similar story for Japan. In financial markets, international sentiment favoured riskier assets towards the end of last week. This provided some support to the rand exchange rate and SA government bonds....Get it here

Given the lack of visibility on politics and the recent negative experience, we have stuck to a conservative medium-term real GDP growth outlook of only 1.6%....Get it here

It was a relatively quiet week on the domestic data front last week. However, local financial markets remained volatile with the rand coming under pressure late last week – see the markets section. The losses were extended this morning. This was in reaction to rumours that President Zuma will announce the implementation of free tertiary education. This morning, numerous media agencies are reporting that as a result of the interference with the budgeting process, the head of the Treasury budget office (Michael Sachs) resigned last week. The latest revelations increase the risk that S&P Global and Moody’s will downgrade SA’s local currency credit rating to sub-investment grade on 24 November. In the domestic section, we unpack the latest mining and manufacturing output data from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). While the September prints were relatively soft, the full quarter results suggest that both sectors will contribute positively to GDP growth in Q3. On the international front, the focus is on trade data released over the past two weeks by three of the world’s biggest economies. While the US maintained a trade deficit with the rest of the world, Germany and China recorded significant trade surpluses. ...Get it here

As has been the case over the past 12 to 18 months, local concerns continue to counter global factors in driving domestic economic performance. At a time when global growth is looking up and investor sentiment towards emerging markets remains robust, SA appears to be in no position to take advantage of the favourable conditions. Political infighting, policy uncertainty and structural constraints continue to hamper domestic growth prospects....Get it here

A short summary of the BER’s latest macroeconomic forecast. As has been the case over the past 12 to 18 months, local concerns continue to counter global factors in driving domestic economic performance. At a time when global growth is looking up and investor sentiment towards emerging markets remains robust, SA appears to be in no position to take advantage of the favourable conditions. Political infighting, policy uncertainty and structural constraints continue to hamper domestic growth prospects....Get it here

The Journal for Studies in Economics and Econometrics (S.E.E) is an international journal that publishes articles in the field of study of Economics (in the widest sense of the word). It is a combined product of the BER and the Graduate School of Business at Stellenbosch University. All contributions are welcome, but are subject to an objective selection procedure to ensure that all published articles answer the criteria of scientific objectivity, importance, replicability and intelligibility...read more

...Get it here

In global news, US president Trump announced Jerome Powell as his nominee to be the next Chair of the US Federal Reserve Bank (Fed). The Fed Chair is considered to be one of the most (if not the most) influential global finance positions. Financial markets initially reacted positively to Trump’s Fed pick. Meanwhile, domestic economic news centred on the release of the Q3 Quarterly Labour Force survey (QLFS) which showed that the unemployment rate was unchanged (at a high level) compared to 2017Q2. This was despite a net gain in employment. However, other data released during the week, including the October PMI figures, was somewhat more upbeat. ...Get it here

Monthly survey of leading South African economists who forecast key macroeconomic variables....Get it here

Comprehensive economic statistics handbook. The latest South African and international economic data is presented in tables and graphs. Sectoral trends are also displayed....Get it here

Forecast publications

Given the lack of visibility on politics and the recent negative experience, we have stuck to a conservative medium-term real GDP growth outlook of only 1.6%....Get it here

As has been the case over the past 12 to 18 months, local concerns continue to counter global factors in driving domestic economic performance. At a time when global growth is looking up and investor sentiment towards emerging markets remains robust, SA appears to be in no position to take advantage of the favourable conditions. Political infighting, policy uncertainty and structural constraints continue to hamper domestic growth prospects....Get it here

As has been the case over the past 12 to 18 months, local concerns continue to counter global factors in driving domestic economic performance. At a time when global growth is looking up and investor sentiment towards emerging markets remains robust, SA appears to be in no position to take advantage of the favourable conditions. Political infighting, policy uncertainty and structural constraints continue to hamper domestic growth prospects....Get it here

Excel sheets summarising the forecasts published in the latest issues of Economic Prospects (2-year quarterly forecast) and Economic Outlook (6-year annual forecast). Where possible, the forecast sheets have been updated with the latest available information.

...Get it here

Excel sheets summarising the forecasts published in the latest issues of Economic Prospects (2-year quarterly forecast) and Economic Outlook (6-year annual forecast). Where possible, the forecast sheets have been updated with the latest available information.

...Get it here

The repercussions of President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle on March 31, and the subsequent credit rating downgrades, are likely to be felt through the medium-term forecast period (2017 to 2022). These developments will undoubtedly further constrain the medium-term prospects for the SA economy. Indeed, notable forecast adjustments include that we now expect almost no increase in SA per capita GDP over the next six years and slippage on fiscal debt metrics....Get it here

Snapshot

Graphs of the latest monthly and quarterly South African economic and financial data. The focus is on the essential indicators to give the reader a quick overview of general economic conditions....Get it here

Graphs of the latest monthly and quarterly South African economic and financial data. The focus is on the essential indicators to give the reader a quick overview of general economic conditions....Get it here

Graphs of the latest monthly and quarterly South African economic and financial data. The focus is on the essential indicators to give the reader a quick overview of general economic conditions....Get it here

Graphs of the latest monthly and quarterly South African economic and financial data. The focus is on the essential indicators to give the reader a quick overview of general economic conditions....Get it here

Graphs of the latest monthly and quarterly South African economic and financial data. The focus is on the essential indicators to give the reader a quick overview of general economic conditions....Get it here

Graphs of the latest monthly and quarterly South African economic and financial data. The focus is on the essential indicators to give the reader a quick overview of general economic conditions....Get it here

Weekly

Last week, retail and wholesale data was released for the domestic economy. The September growth figures completed the picture for the third quarter. In this regard, the growth in retail sales should support GDP growth in Q3, while a significant contraction in wholesale sales will have the opposite effect. Internationally, economic growth was reported to be brisk in the Eurozone (EZ) during the third quarter. It was a similar story for Japan. In financial markets, international sentiment favoured riskier assets towards the end of last week. This provided some support to the rand exchange rate and SA government bonds....Get it here

It was a relatively quiet week on the domestic data front last week. However, local financial markets remained volatile with the rand coming under pressure late last week – see the markets section. The losses were extended this morning. This was in reaction to rumours that President Zuma will announce the implementation of free tertiary education. This morning, numerous media agencies are reporting that as a result of the interference with the budgeting process, the head of the Treasury budget office (Michael Sachs) resigned last week. The latest revelations increase the risk that S&P Global and Moody’s will downgrade SA’s local currency credit rating to sub-investment grade on 24 November. In the domestic section, we unpack the latest mining and manufacturing output data from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). While the September prints were relatively soft, the full quarter results suggest that both sectors will contribute positively to GDP growth in Q3. On the international front, the focus is on trade data released over the past two weeks by three of the world’s biggest economies. While the US maintained a trade deficit with the rest of the world, Germany and China recorded significant trade surpluses. ...Get it here

In global news, US president Trump announced Jerome Powell as his nominee to be the next Chair of the US Federal Reserve Bank (Fed). The Fed Chair is considered to be one of the most (if not the most) influential global finance positions. Financial markets initially reacted positively to Trump’s Fed pick. Meanwhile, domestic economic news centred on the release of the Q3 Quarterly Labour Force survey (QLFS) which showed that the unemployment rate was unchanged (at a high level) compared to 2017Q2. This was despite a net gain in employment. However, other data released during the week, including the October PMI figures, was somewhat more upbeat. ...Get it here

Domestic economic headlines where dominated last week by the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on Wednesday. The MTBPS did not go down well with market participants and some credit rating agencies. The rand consequently weakened during the latter part of the week, touching its lowest level against the US$ in 11 months. In contrast, global data was somewhat more upbeat. Initial US 2017Q4 GDP surprised on the upside while flash Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data showed continued economic growth in major economic regions in October. ...Get it here

Domestically, the focus last week was on the September consumer price inflation data, which accelerated more than the consensus forecast had expected. Retail sales also came in much higher than the consensus forecast, providing a welcome boost to the 2017Q3 GDP outlook. In the international section, we unpack the latest GDP growth figures from China as well as the most recent inflation print from the United Kingdom (UK). While inflation rose to a five-year high, it is uncertain that this alone will trigger rate hikes by the Bank of England (BoE). ...Get it here

In the domestic section, we unpack the latest production data released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). Both mining and manufacturing production figures for August point to stronger than expected GDP growth in 2017Q3. Industrial production figures from the UK and the Eurozone (EZ), along with inflation figures out of the US and Japan, are discussed in the international section. ...Get it here