The Business Confidence Index (BCI) of SACCI remained at almost the same restrained level as in June and only increased marginally to 90.7 in July 2013. The BCI was 0.5 index points higher than the 90.2 of June 2013 and 0.2 points lower than in July 2012. Current BCI levels are still way below the peak of 122.1 reached in December 2006 and the average of 100 for the base year of 2010.
The balance between positive, negative and neutral month-on-month movements across the BCI sub-indices caused the BCI to remain nearly unchanged. On a year-on-year basis six sub-indices were negative, five were positive and two were neutral between July 2013 and July 2012.
Although the BCI remains depressed, global economic conditions appear to be bottoming out. The openness of the South African economy is not only an opportunity and an advantage, but also a major challenge in that it compels South Africa to actively work at maintaining a competitive edge. Although the exchange rate of the rand could serve as an economic shock absorber over the short to medium-term, South Africa has to address known impediments to competitiveness in the interests of sustainable growth in economic activity.
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