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  • South Africa's trade deficit balloons as exports wane
  • Yesterday, SARS released its trade data for the month of August. The trade deficit grew to nine times greater than July's deficit and was much greater than economists forecast. So what led to the trade deficit widening so much? Let's take a closer look… The trade deficit widens to R9.95 billion The trade deficit grew from R1.1 billion in July to R9.95 billion in August, report... ››› more
  • [01 October 2015]
  • Consumer inflation eases slightly in August thanks to a lower oil price
  • Earlier today, Stats SA released its consumer inflation data for last month. The consumer price index (CPI) showed that inflation eased slightly on an annual basis. The upward pressures on inflation have subsided thanks to a lower oil price, which led to lower fuel prices. Let's take a closer look at what the data revealed… Consumer inflation comes in at 4.6% for August Consumer i... ››› more
  • [23 September 2015]
  • The Reserve Bank keeps interest rates unchanged, for now
  • Earlier today, the South African Reserve Bank's monetary policy committee decided to keep interest rates unchanged for the moment. This follows the US Federal Reserve's decision last week to keep its interest rates also on hold. Let's take a closer look at the Reserve Bank's decision… Interest rates remain unchanged as inflationary pressures ease The governor of the Reserve Bank, ... ››› more
  • [23 September 2015]
  • Chances are the Reserve Bank will keep interest rates unchanged
  • Tomorrow afternoon, the South African Reserve Bank's monetary policy committee meeting will conclude. Will the committee decide to hike rates or will it keep then unchanged? Let's take a look… Interest rates may rise in November Thanks to the US Federal Reserve keeping its interest rates unchanged last Thursday, it looks likely that the Reserve Bank will follow its lead, reports F... ››› more
  • [22 September 2015]
  • Retail sales come in higher than expected, but the data still isn't great
  • Yesterday, Stats SA released its retail sales data covering July. On an annual basis the key economic figure showed growth was higher than economists expected. But it was less than the growth seen during June. Let's take a closer look at what the data showed… Retail sales grew 3.3% in July Retail sales came in at 3.3% on an annual basis in July, says BDLive. This is down from the... ››› more
  • [17 September 2015]
  • The rand gains as the current account deficit reduces more than expected
  • Yesterday, the South African Reserve Bank released its latest figures on the current account. Data showed that the current account deficit eased for the second quarter of the year. The data surprised economists who had forecast a reduction, but not by as large a margin. The rand gained on the news. Let's take a closer look… The current account deficit is now at its smallest in four y... ››› more
  • [16 September 2015]
  • Business confidence hits a four year low as South Africa's economy limps along
  • Today saw the release of the RMB/BER business confidence index data for the third quarter of this year. The data showed that the index is now sitting at levels not seen since 2011. So what's putting pressure on the index? Let's take a closer look… Business confidence dips again The business confidence index (BCI), which the Bureau for Economic Research conducts and Rand Merchan... ››› more
  • [09 September 2015]
  • I nearly choked when I read this…
  • On August 31 President Jacob Zuma told the Business Day Newspaper that: “The economy is sick.” and that only “government tightened its belt.” (After handing around above CPI wage increases to all manner of public workers - and bailing out SAA, the SABC and any number of other state-funded white elephant money-pits. Not to even mention Nkandla...) Then our dear president said “Sho... ››› more
  • [07 September 2015]
  • Despite the rand's tumble, the petrol price is dropping again on Wednesday
  • On 2 September, motorists can look forward to paying less at the pumps for both petrol and diesel. This brings the second consecutive month of cuts to the petrol price. So what is behind a drop in the price of petrol and other fuels? Let's take a closer look… The petrol price will fall by 69c a litre On Friday, the Department of Energy revealed that from Wednesday, the petrol p... ››› more
  • [31 August 2015]
  • Delving into economic policy: Why SA follows an inflation targeting strategy
  • Each month when Stats SA releases its consumer inflation data for the month, one of the comparisons made is where the rate sits with the Reserve Bank's inflation target. The South African Reserve Bank has an inflation target of between 3% and 6%. So what exactly is inflation targeting? And what are the benefits of following such a policy? Let's take a closer look… What is inflatio... ››› more
  • [28 August 2015]
  • Stocks rally and oil soars over 9% as US economic growth beat expectations
  • Yesterday afternoon, the US Commerce Department revealed that the US economy has grown over 1% more than first thought during the second quarter of this year. This led to stocks rallying in Europe and the US, and the oil price going through the roof. The upbeat data could give the US Federal Reserve enough reason to hike interest rates this year. Let's take a closer look… US GDP c... ››› more
  • [28 August 2015]
  • Producer inflation eases unexpectedly in July
  • Yesterday, Stats SA released its producer inflation data for July. The producer price index (PPI) fell year-on-year in comparison with June's figures. Economists were expecting a rise in producer inflation. Let's take a closer look at what the data showed… Producer inflation dipped to 3.3% Stats SA revealed that producer inflation fell to 3.3% last month, down from the 3.7% report... ››› more
  • [28 August 2015]
  • GDP comes in far worse than expected signalling trouble for the SA economy
  • Earlier today, Stats SA released its gross domestic product (GDP) data for the second quarter of the year. The data surprised showing a sharp contraction despite economists expecting the economy to have grown during the three months. So what's to blame for the slump? Read on to find out more… The South African economy contracts 1.3% GDP data showed that the “economy contracte... ››› more
  • [25 August 2015]
  • Why South Africa ranks as the 11th riskiest place in the world to invest
  • The Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently published new data that ranks countries according to how risky they are. The ranking comes from how likely it is that a country will default on its sovereign debt. South Africa ranks just outside the top ten. Let's take a closer look at what this means for SA… The risk of defaulting on sovereign debt Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s ... ››› more
  • [19 August 2015]
  • Why the rand's plunge won't send inflation soaring
  • The rand has been on a downward trend this year. And over the past couple of weeks, the currency has been under even more pressure. So what's going on with the rand? And does a weaker rand mean much higher inflation and interest rates? Read on to find out… The rand is trading at 14 year lows The rand is currently sitting at levels not seen since 2001. The situation doesn’t look ... ››› more
  • [19 August 2015]

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