SA’s growth prospects pick up a little in April
By Karl Gernetzky - Jun 25th, 14:26
The Reserve Bank’s leading indicator signals activity increased slightly in April from March, with more building plans approved and more jobs advertised.
The Reserve Bank’s leading business cycle indicator picked up a little in April compared with March but extended its year-on-year losing streak to seven-consecutive months.
The indicator rose 0.7% in April compared with March, a sign second-quarter economic activity recovered a little after a tough first quarter, data from the Reserve Bank showed.
The leading indicator is based on monthly movements in various economic indicators, such as interest rate spreads, new passenger vehicles sold and job advertisements. It is watched closely as it moves in line with current economic growth — a drop in the indicator signals a risk of weak growth, or even contraction, for the economy.
Five of the 10 available component time series increased, while four decreased, and one remained unchanged.
The largest positive contributions to the movement in the composite leading business cycle indicator in April came from an increase in the number of residential building plans approved and an acceleration in the 12-month percentage change in job advertisement space. The largest negative contributions resulted from a decrease in the SA produced export commodity price index — based in dollars — and a narrowing in the interest rate spread.
The indicator, however, contracted 0.3% in April from the same month in 2018. This is an improvement from the 3.2% annualised contraction registered in February, while it fell 2.2% in February and 1.6% in March.Business Live
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