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Economic Prospects: Economic activity expected during '19&20

Real GDP growth for 2019 has been revised down to 1.3% from 1.5% before. Growth is still expected to accelerate towards 2% during 2020.

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SARB Public Lecture

|| Why should central banks be independent?|| The Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and the BER will host Dr Kganyago, Governor of the SARB when he presents a lecture on 6 March

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Recent Releases

The domestic data calendar was rather light last week with electricity production for December 2018 the only notable release. In the absence of any significant data releases, attention was focused on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) and the announcements made regarding Eskom and the formation of a new investigating directorate. In the international section, we discuss the latest interest rate decisions from both the developed and developing world, as well as trade statistics out of the US....Get it here

Real GDP growth for 2019 has been revised down to 1.3% from 1.5% before. Growth is still expected to accelerate towards 2% during 2020....Get it here

Real GDP growth for 2019 has been revised down to 1.3% from 1.5% before. Growth is still expected to accelerate towards 2% during 2020....Get it here

Any African countries experience power shortages and regular interruptions in electricity supply. We use stochastic frontier models to study the impact of power disruptions on the efficiency of African manufacturing firms. Power disruptions appear to have negative effects on efficiency and the use of generators further exacerbates the impact. The interaction of power outages with generator ownership result in a negative effect on efficiency and this could probably be explained by the high cost of running these alternative power sources. Our results support a policy of investment in the electricity sector, to improve the maintenance and quality of infrastructure that is used to generate power in African countries....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

Last week, financial headlines were dominated by a more dovish-than-expected monetary policy statement of the Federal Reserve (Fed) in the US. The dollar lost some ground against other key currencies, including the rand, after the statement lacked the usual prediction of future rate hikes. Domestically, there were a number of data releases. Although the Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was slightly down in January, it was still virtually at the neutral-50 mark and above the average for last year. Besides the PMI, a welcome trade surplus was recorded in December, though it was not on the back of more exports. We also take a brief look at the latest vehicle sales, private credit extension and producer inflation numbers. In terms of the main global data releases, a slowdown in global growth was confirmed by lower GDP growth numbers in the Eurozone and a drop in the Chinese PMI....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

A monthly check on the forecast and latest data fact sheet, supplementing the BER’s quarterly forecast of the SA economy...Get it here

The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) edged lower to 49.9 index points in January 2019, down from 50.7 in December. Despite the decline, the index remains 2 points above the average recorded in 2018 which suggests the sector started the year on a fairly solid footing. ...Get it here

Domestically, data released last week revealed that consumer confidence remained in positive territory in the final quarter of last year, though it was down from the Ramaphoria-high during the first half of 2018. The Q4 figure suggests that consumers’ willingness to spend is still relatively high. Meanwhile, consumer inflation moderated significantly in December 2018 on the back of a huge drop in fuel prices. Internationally, both the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) held their key policy interest rates steady at current levels. Meanwhile, flash Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) numbers for January indicated a sustained slowdown in the Eurozone economy, while the US economy retained momentum. In financial markets, the US dollar was somewhat weaker as the trade talks between the US and China made little progress to date ...Get it here

Forecast publications

Real GDP growth for 2019 has been revised down to 1.3% from 1.5% before. Growth is still expected to accelerate towards 2% during 2020....Get it here

A monthly check on the forecast and latest data fact sheet, supplementing the BER’s quarterly forecast of the SA economy...Get it here

Real GDP growth for 2019 has been revised down to 1.3% from 1.5% before. Growth is still expected to accelerate towards 2% during 2020....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

A monthly check on the forecast and latest data fact sheet, supplementing the BER’s quarterly forecast of the SA economy...Get it here

In April, our six-year forecast assumed greater policy certainty and direction after the 2019 election. However, recent events open the door for a more prolonged period of uncertainty about the domestic policy outlook. In line with this, the medium-term GDP growth outlook has been revised (slightly) lower....Get it here

Medium-term prospects for the SA economy have improved. Mostly, this stems from notably less concern about domestic politics and the policy environment....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

The domestic data calendar was rather light last week with electricity production for December 2018 the only notable release. In the absence of any significant data releases, attention was focused on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) and the announcements made regarding Eskom and the formation of a new investigating directorate. In the international section, we discuss the latest interest rate decisions from both the developed and developing world, as well as trade statistics out of the US....Get it here

Last week, financial headlines were dominated by a more dovish-than-expected monetary policy statement of the Federal Reserve (Fed) in the US. The dollar lost some ground against other key currencies, including the rand, after the statement lacked the usual prediction of future rate hikes. Domestically, there were a number of data releases. Although the Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was slightly down in January, it was still virtually at the neutral-50 mark and above the average for last year. Besides the PMI, a welcome trade surplus was recorded in December, though it was not on the back of more exports. We also take a brief look at the latest vehicle sales, private credit extension and producer inflation numbers. In terms of the main global data releases, a slowdown in global growth was confirmed by lower GDP growth numbers in the Eurozone and a drop in the Chinese PMI....Get it here

Domestically, data released last week revealed that consumer confidence remained in positive territory in the final quarter of last year, though it was down from the Ramaphoria-high during the first half of 2018. The Q4 figure suggests that consumers’ willingness to spend is still relatively high. Meanwhile, consumer inflation moderated significantly in December 2018 on the back of a huge drop in fuel prices. Internationally, both the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) held their key policy interest rates steady at current levels. Meanwhile, flash Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) numbers for January indicated a sustained slowdown in the Eurozone economy, while the US economy retained momentum. In financial markets, the US dollar was somewhat weaker as the trade talks between the US and China made little progress to date ...Get it here

Domestically, markets were focused on the latest meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) last week. On the global front, the news flow was dominated by British political chaos associated with the Brexit debacle. Besides a brief overview of the MPC decision, the domestic section looks at the latest retail sales data, which surprised on the upside. In contrast, mining data disappointed. The international section discusses a slew of data from China, the US and the Eurozone. The section also briefly refers to the outcome of the Brexit vote in the UK parliament. ...Get it here

Domestic data released during the first full week of 2019 presented a mixed bag. Manufacturing data, both survey and official statistics, suggest that the factory sector ended 2018 on a positive note. However, new vehicle sales data for December confirmed that overall sales declined in 2018 compared to 2017. International news headlines were mostly focused on political developments, including the continued government shutdown in the US, trade negotiations between the US and China, as well as Brexit developments (or the lack thereof). On the economic front, there are increasing concerns about the health of the global economy. ...Get it here

A barrage of domestic data was released this week, most of which point to a relatively solid start for the economy in 2018Q4 – following the better-than-expected Q3 GDP print. Besides the data releases, it is worth highlighting that President Ramaphosa suggested in a radio interview on Thursday that the government was unlikely to provide Eskom with substantial additional financial assistance. How the government deals with Eskom is likely to be a key factor that influences the domestic economic outlook in 2019, and beyond. Internationally the focus is mainly on the outcome of the monetary policy meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB) at which it was decided to formally end the bank’s bond-buying programme. This at a time when the region faces multiple headwinds, most of which pose a downside risk to the economic growth outlook. ...Get it here

The FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index gained one point to register a still very depressed level of 18 in 2018Q4. Underpinning the low confidence was a significant decline in construction activity as well as a deterioration in order books.

The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) edged lower to 49.9 index points in January 2019, down from 50.7 in December. Despite the decline, the index remains 2 points above the average recorded in 2018 which suggests the sector started the year on a fairly solid footing.

The FNB/BER Building Confidence Index shed 3 index points to register a level of 32 in 2018Q4. Of the four sub-sectors which reported lower confidence, the sharp increase in pessimism among architects and quantity surveyors was of particular concern. This was underpinned by a marked fall in activity

After falling sharply in the third quarter of 2018, the FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) held steady during 2018Q4. Consumer sentiment settled at a much lower level during the second half of 2018 compared to the extraordinarily positive numbers booked at the height of Ramaphoria. Nevertheless, the latest reading is still above the long-run average reading for the CCI, suggesting that most consumers are fairly optimistic with respect to the outlook for the SA economy and their own household finances. However, order for a more enduring and significant improvement in consumer spending to take hold, household income and credit growth will also need to accelerate.