South Africa business confidence index hits lowest since Sept 2020


A worker arranges goods at a Makro branch of South African retailer Massmart, File. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

A South African business confidence index fell in May, hitting its lowest level since September 2020 on factors including lower trade volumes, higher financing costs and power cuts.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said on Tuesday that its business confidence index fell to 89.3 in May from 93.7 in April.

“It might take a while for the economy to recover and gain momentum given prevailing global economic conditions and structural economic challenges that followed on the lockdown regulations,” SACCI said in a statement.

South Africa saw devastating floods in the coastal KwaZulu-Natal province in April, which left hundreds dead, thousands homeless and caused billions of rands of damage to infrastructure which disrupted exports and imports.

The central bank increased its main lending rate by the largest margin in more than six years in May, and state utility Eskom imposed severe electricity outages.

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