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South Africa: Wrap-Up and Look Ahead

South Africa: Wrap-Up and Look Ahead

Kara Dailey,

Talking Points:

  • Last week business confidence contracted, with the index falling below 50 points
  • Mining and Manufacturing productivity slowed at the start of 2015
  • Data for CPI, Retail Sales, and the Leading Indicator will be released this week

Economic Activity in South Africa largely showed signs of a struggle last week. On Tuesday, Business Confidence dropped below the pivotal 50 mark for the month of February. Results were polarized amongst the subsectors; retail confidence jumped to 60 while sentiment amongst the building and manufacturing sectors further contracted, hitting 49 and 30 respectively. The release of mining and manufacturing data two days later did little to turn sentiment around.

Production activity in South Africa lagged in January; manufacturing output fell by 2.3% (YoY) while mineral yields fell by 4.7% (YoY). The most notable declines within the manufacturing group stemmed from negative growth rates pertaining to the sale of motor vehicles and basic iron, steel and metal products. Within the mining industry, declines in the production of gold (-4.3 pp) and platinum group metals (-2.3 pp) were the principal reasons behind the index’s drop.

Looking forward at the week ahead, the USD/ZAR will likely be affected by the following Events:

Release Date

Release Time

Event

Date

Reporting Agency

March 18th

8:00 GMT

CPI (YoY)

FEB

Statistics South Africa

March 18th

11:00 GMT

Retail Sales (MoM)

JAN

Statistics South Africa

March 18th or 25th

N/A

Leading Indicator

JAN

South African Reserve Bank

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