The FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index gained 3 points to register a level of 15 in 2018Q2. The sustained low confidence is explained by a deterioration in almost all of the underlying indicators, most notably construction activity and tendering competition.

The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 51.5 index points in July, up from 47.9 in June. The current level is comfortably above the neutral 50-point mark and is supported by four out five of the key subcomponents being in positive terrain. This suggests that the manufacturing sector got off to a good start in the first month of the third quarter of 2018.

After surging from 34 to 45 in the first quarter, the RMB/BER Business Confidence Index (BCI) deteriorated to 39 in the second quarter of 2018. This means that close to three fifths of respondents now regard prevailing business conditions as unsatisfactory – a disappointing outcome, yet probably an accurate reflection of reality.

After skyrocketing to an all-time high during the first quarter of 2018, the FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) dipped marginally in the second quarter. Since negative corrections have typically followed large spikes in the CCI in the past, we are somewhat surprised that consumer confidence levels remained so high following the unparalleled surge in consumer sentiment during the first quarter of 2018. Furthermore, there were several adverse developments in recent months that had the potential to deflate consumer confidence. Although the elevated consumer confidence level suggests that consumers remain most willing to spend their money, this does not necessarily imply that actual consumer spending remained robust during the second quarter. Household income levels and/or access to credit would have had to improve in conjunction with the positive sentiment to see strong household expenditure growth during the second quarter. Although the seeds of an economic recovery were planted with President Ramaphosa's "new dawn" and pledge to eradicate the scourge of corruption, further investor-friendly reforms are urgently needed to boost economic growth and household income levels to avoid bitter disappointment.

Economic indicators

Key indicators

Share indices (Previous day's close)

Last updated: Mon Aug 20 2018 08:09:51

JSE all-share

56648

0.15 %

JSE Top 40

50602

0.19 %

US S&P 500

2850

0.33 %

German Dax

12211

-0.22%

Japan Nikkei

22270

0.35 %

Please note


Recent releases

It was a quiet week on the domestic data front, with only manufacturing production for June released. However, there were significant moves on domestic financial markets in the holiday-shortened week, with the rand exchange rate under significant pressure. Increased geopolitical tension and a general risk-off trading environment weighed on emerging market assets, including the rand and Turkish lira, over the week. More on this in the markets section. In other news, on Friday National Treasury released the report of the committee tasked to review the basket of goods excluded from Value Added Tax (VAT). The main recommendations are outlined in the current affairs section. On the international front, overall economic activity picked up in Japan and the UK in 2018Q2 as reflected in the latest GDP prints. China’s trade surplus with the US shrank marginally in July but will likely not be enough to alleviate US-China tensions. In fact, President Donald Trump announced new tariffs to be implemented later in August with his Chinese counterpart vowing to follow suit. Finally, US core inflation accelerated, fuelling expectations for a rate hike in September. ...Get it here

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

A mixed bag of data releases on the domestic front last week indicate that domestic economic activity remains under pressure. On the positive side, the Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) ticked up to above the neutral 50-point mark in July, while strong export growth in June led to an improvement in the overall external trade balance. On the other hand, vehicle exports struggled in July, while the unemployment rate increased in 2018Q2 on the back of lacklustre employment growth. In international news, we focus on the latest round of monetary policy decisions from the developed world, activity indicators from China and the Eurozone, as well labour market data out of the US....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

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

Fact sheet of key monthly economic data and financial market indicators. The release accompanies the BER's economic forecast report, Economic Prospects....Get it here

The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 51.5 index points in July, up from 47.9 in June. The current level is comfortably above the neutral 50-point mark and is supported by four out five of the key subcomponents being in positive terrain. This suggests that the manufacturing sector got off to a good start in the first month of the third quarter of 2018. ...Get it here

The domestic economic data calendar was very light last week, with the only notable release being producer inflation for June. This morning, we saw the release of credit growth statistics for June. On domestic financial markets, the rand exchange rate was supported by the announcement that China plans to invest almost $15bn in the SA economy, while Eskom secured a R33bn loan from China’s Development Bank. In the international section, we have a look at the US GDP figure for Q2. As expected, growth accelerated notably from Q1. The section further unpacks the latest flash Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) releases for the US and the Eurozone. ...Get it here

Locally, the focus was on the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) policy interest rate decision. As expected, the SARB kept the rate unchanged, but the overall tone of the statement was fairly hawkish. In addition, we unpack the latest retail and wholesale trade data as well as the June inflation print. On the international front, the focus is also on inflation figures from the Eurozone and the United Kingdom. The section further summarises the latest industrial production and retail sales data from the US, which both point to a strong Q2 GDP print. ...Get it here

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

Forecast publications

The GDP contraction in 2018Q1 and likely modest recovery in Q2 has forced a sizeable downward adjustment to our 2018 real GDP growth forecast....Get it here

The GDP contraction in 2018Q1 and likely modest recovery in Q2 has forced a sizeable downward adjustment to our 2018 real GDP growth forecast....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

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

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

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

It was a quiet week on the domestic data front, with only manufacturing production for June released. However, there were significant moves on domestic financial markets in the holiday-shortened week, with the rand exchange rate under significant pressure. Increased geopolitical tension and a general risk-off trading environment weighed on emerging market assets, including the rand and Turkish lira, over the week. More on this in the markets section. In other news, on Friday National Treasury released the report of the committee tasked to review the basket of goods excluded from Value Added Tax (VAT). The main recommendations are outlined in the current affairs section. On the international front, overall economic activity picked up in Japan and the UK in 2018Q2 as reflected in the latest GDP prints. China’s trade surplus with the US shrank marginally in July but will likely not be enough to alleviate US-China tensions. In fact, President Donald Trump announced new tariffs to be implemented later in August with his Chinese counterpart vowing to follow suit. Finally, US core inflation accelerated, fuelling expectations for a rate hike in September. ...Get it here

A mixed bag of data releases on the domestic front last week indicate that domestic economic activity remains under pressure. On the positive side, the Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) ticked up to above the neutral 50-point mark in July, while strong export growth in June led to an improvement in the overall external trade balance. On the other hand, vehicle exports struggled in July, while the unemployment rate increased in 2018Q2 on the back of lacklustre employment growth. In international news, we focus on the latest round of monetary policy decisions from the developed world, activity indicators from China and the Eurozone, as well labour market data out of the US....Get it here

The domestic economic data calendar was very light last week, with the only notable release being producer inflation for June. This morning, we saw the release of credit growth statistics for June. On domestic financial markets, the rand exchange rate was supported by the announcement that China plans to invest almost $15bn in the SA economy, while Eskom secured a R33bn loan from China’s Development Bank. In the international section, we have a look at the US GDP figure for Q2. As expected, growth accelerated notably from Q1. The section further unpacks the latest flash Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) releases for the US and the Eurozone. ...Get it here

Locally, the focus was on the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) policy interest rate decision. As expected, the SARB kept the rate unchanged, but the overall tone of the statement was fairly hawkish. In addition, we unpack the latest retail and wholesale trade data as well as the June inflation print. On the international front, the focus is also on inflation figures from the Eurozone and the United Kingdom. The section further summarises the latest industrial production and retail sales data from the US, which both point to a strong Q2 GDP print. ...Get it here

In domestic news, both mining and manufacturing output rebounded in May after posting weak growth in April. However, mining output is still set to contract in 2018Q2, while only a slight rebound is on the cards for manufacturing production as output growth remains lacklustre. Furthermore, the near-term outlook for the mining sector is clouded by the possibility of labour unrest following the commencement of wage negotiations in the gold sector. On the international front, US consumer price inflation rose to a six-year high in June, suggesting further interest rates hikes remain firmly on the cards. Across the pacific, China’s trade surplus with the US rose to a record-high in June which could provide further ammunition for President Trump in the ongoing trade dispute. ...Get it here

On the domestic front, economic news was a mixed bag last week. On the upside, domestic vehicle sales continued to grow, especially in the case of heavy vehicles such as trucks and buses. On the downside, electricity output remained under pressure. On the international scene, nonfarm payroll data indicates that the US economy is still creating new jobs at a steady rate. Meanwhile, June Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMIs) for the US and China reflect a vibrant economy in the US during the second quarter, and ‘business as usual’ in China. Furthermore, the IMF scaled down its outlook for the German economy. On financial markets the US dollar lost some ground after Chinese officials said they will not use the yuan as a trade-policy weapon, benefiting emerging market (EM) currencies to some extent. ...Get it here