Business confidence declines to 94.3 points in April
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Business Confidence Index (BCI) in April declined to 94.3 points, the lowest in three years.
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“It declined by a further 1.4 index points to 94.3. This follows the 3.8 index points decline to 95.7 in March 2012. The 94.3 is the lowest level for the BCI in three years,” said Sacci as it released its monthly index.
April’s figure was 8.2 points below the April 2011 level.
“An unstable and weakening business environment accompanies the volatility in the BCI at present,” said Sacci.
Two of the six financial sub-indices were positive while one was neutral.
It said the real economic environment was also more encouraging although only marginally so, with three of the seven sub-indices impacting positively (month-on-month) on the business mood in April 2012.
Five of the 13 sub-indices improved on a year earlier in April 2012 while three of the seven real economic sub-indices made positive contributions to the BCI.
Globally, household debt remained a serious problem. Sacci said debt restructuring programs can reduce significantly debt repayment burdens but that this could undermine the ethic and morale of responsible borrowing.
Sacci noted that given the levels of household debt, borrowing should be done with circumspection to avert painful adjustments later on.
“Sound and sustainable economic growth should be enhanced to inspire more households with credible financial credentials to become more active economic participants. Business remains ready to accommodate sound sustainable consumer demand,” said Sacci.