BER launches mobile app

We are excited to inform you about the launch of the BER mobile app. Via the new BER app you can conveniently access your publications on your phone/tablet and receive real-time alerts when new documents are published on our website. The BER app is available on the Google Play Store for Android and the Apple App Store for iOS. For more information and links to download the app, please click on 'get it here' below

Get it here

Recent Releases

Economist Internship Programme

The BER at Stellenbosch University, the South African Reserve Bank and Absa Bank Ltd wish to announce the commencement of recruitment for the 2020 Economist Internship Programme at the BER.

For more information, click here

Business sentiment among civil contractors remained in the doldrums in 2019Q2. After falling to an all-time record low of 10 in 2019Q1, the FNB/BER Civil Confidence index edged a mere one point higher to 11 in 2019Q2.

The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) erased most of last month’s gain and fell to 45.4 index points in May from 47.2 points in April. Barring a drop to 45 points in March, this is the weakest level since October 2018. The decline brought the average PMI for the first two months of the second quarter to 46.3 points, below the first quarter average of 47.1 points. This does not bode well for a recovery in activity in the manufacturing sector after output declined notably on a quarter-on-quarter basis in the first quarter.

The RMB/BER BCI flatlined at a worryingly low 28 in the second quarter. Sentiment improved in the building, retail and wholesale trade. Yet, improvements on balance were marginal and fully offset by a renewed sharp drop in the confidence of new vehicle dealers while the confidence of manufacturers slid even further. The latest survey results have dampened hopes of a strong bounce-back following the first quarter’s contraction in GDP.

After wilting during the first quarter of 2019, the FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) recovered slightly during 2019Q2. Following the shock implementation of stage 4 load shedding by Eskom during the first quarter, significantly fewer blackouts during the second quarter probably heartened some consumers. More importantly, the opportunity to vote in South Africa’s 6th democratic election since the end of apartheid most likely buoyed consumers’ hopes for the future. However, household budgets remain constrained by higher personal income taxes, sharp fuel and electricity price hikes and rising unemployment rates. All in all, we expect a further deterioration in real consumer spending growth during 2019.