New report reflects on progress towards NDP objectives

In collaboration with a network of partners, the BER has compiled a report to measure SA’s achievement of its development objectives set out in the National Development Plan. This report shows progress in SA's development in some areas, though outcomes have fallen short of the NDP’s aspirations in several key indicators. Strong corrective action is needed to achieve the targets of the NDP. Success will require collective effort by all of society – government, the private sector, churches and NGOs – to realise these goals.

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Economic Prospects 2021Q1

Detailed quarterly forecast report of the South African economy. The focus is on current economic trends, both domestically and globally, as well as forecasts of the most important macroeconomic variables.

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In 2020Q2, the FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index fell to only five. Sentiment improved to 11 in 2020Q3 and by a further five points to 16 in 2020Q4. Although better, the current index level means that the vast majority (more than eighty per cent) of respondents are dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions.

The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased to 53 index points in February from 50.9 in the month before. The further increase was supported by three of the five subcomponents gaining relative to January. Only the employment index moved lower, while the supplier deliveries index also ticked down but remained well above the neutral 50-point mark and thus supported the headline figure.

After crashing to an all-time low of five at the height of the COVID-19-induced lockdown in the second quarter, the RMB/BER BCI increased noticeably further from 24 in the third quarter to 40 in the fourth quarter. Confidence rose in all the sectors making up the BCI. While the easing of lockdown restrictions in recent months has led to a resurgence in activity, the tempo of growth in 2021 and beyond remains highly uncertain.

The FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) increased from -23 to -12 in the fourth quarter. The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent severe economic restrictions sent the CCI crashing from an already depressed level of -9 in the first quarter to a 35-year low of -33 during the second quarter, but the CCI has now regained most of its lost ground. Nevertheless, the latest reading of -12 constitutes the lowest festive season CCI reading since 2015.