Consumers remain backbone of SA economy
Fin24 - Mar 9th 2012, 07:51
Bloemfontein. â€“ Itâ€™s consumers who are putting the zing in the South African economy at a time when low growth in foreign markets is putting a damper on the production side of the economy.
In January South African consumers were still opening their wallets for everything from food, clothing and hardware to cars, the Sake24 and BoE Private Clients provincial barometers being published today show.
The barometers also bring other good news: a massive 26% growth in internet usage thanks to smartphones; countrywide double-digit increases in activity in the transport sector; and in three of the provinces the struggling financial, property and business services index again clawed its way to its highest level since the recession.
â€śThe latest barometer data look the best for a long time,â€ť says Economists.co.za economist Mike SchĂĽssler, who compiles the provincial barometers that measure the economic pulse of five of the country's provinces.
In four of the five provinces the overall index rose year on year (y/y), with Gauteng (11.8%) in the lead. But SchĂĽssler expressed his concern over the precarious performance of the Eastern Cap e (â€“ 3.4% y/y). This province depends heavily on its manufacturing sector and vehicle and component manufacturing declined somewhat. For the first time in six months the Eastern Cape manufacturing index was negative (-2.6%).
Production plods along
â€śWhile the consumer economy is on the trot, the production side of the economy is merely plodding along,â€ť SchĂĽssler warns.
In the other four provinces the manufacturing index rose only slightly. The Western Cape (2.7% y/y) performed best.
The countrywide construction sector is still under pressure. The Free State ( 38.2% y/y) is suffering the most, followed by the Eastern Cape ( 26.8%). SchĂĽssler reckons the construction market will slowly begin to recover later this year.
The barometers show that property sales are eventually recovering, and the index for financial, property and business services is rising in four provinces. The Western Cape (9.9%) performed best.
Although the trade indices are still up between 5% and 8.3%, SchĂĽssler warns that the economy cannot indefinitely depend on the consumer.
â€śThe consumer can carry the economy for the next six to eight months, but the more productive side of the economy, such as mining and construction, will have to improve.â€ť
Iran ramps up wheat buying
18/06/2013 - 08:30
London - Iran has ramped up its campaign to import wheat, buying more than 800,000 tonnes in two weeks in what some traders said was a drive to ensure adequate supplies for a possibly tense period after Friday's election.
US: Deloitte Consumer Spending Index rises in May
18/06/2013 - 08:10
New York â€“ Improvements in real home prices, initial unemployment claims and real wages drove an increase in the Deloitte Consumer Spending Index last month.
SA maize falls after USDA report
14/06/2013 - 08:20
Johannesburg - South African corn declined for a second day after a report from the US Department of Agriculture showed more production than anticipated.
India: P&G to set up its biggest India plant in Andhra Pradesh
11/06/2013 - 10:10
FMCG major Procter & Gamble (P&G) India is enhancing its manufacturing capabilities and expanding its footprint by setting up its largest plant at Kothur Mandal in Mahaboobnagar district of Andhra Pradesh. The company will be investing R370 crore in the plant through Procter & Gamble Home Products.
Mr Delivery opts for three wheels to service new Pick n Pay contract
11/06/2013 - 08:29
Mr Delivery opts for three wheels, times 60 Mr Delivery has acquired 60 Mahindra three-wheeler vehicles, fitted with specially designed, lockable canopies, to service a new contract for the Pick n Pay Online Shopping delivery service, which operates from a number of hubs in the country.