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Budget 2017: Only growth can balance the books

Lest we forget how far we’ve come

The improvement in the Main Budget primary budget balance (revenue less non-interest spending) over the past four years to an estimated -0.4% of GDP for fiscal year 2016/17, from a deficit of -2.7% of GDP in 2012/13, is a clear statement of intent. It is also a remarkable achievement in a low-growth environment with an excessive unemployment rate and rising demands on state resources.

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Expect slowing property price growth in 2017, with a few exceptions

The residential property market has had its ups and downs during 2016 as the economy stagnates, the Reserve Bank started hiking interest rates again and consumers struggle with household debt-to-income. What's in store for 2017; slowing property price growth - with a few notable exceptions - an increase in demand for smaller properties, specifically sectional title, and a tightening of the belt when it comes to household savings.

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Global manufacturing growth ‘sluggish’

Global manufacturing growth remained low in the third quarter of 2016, reflecting a prolonged yet fragile recovery  in industrialised economies and weakened growth prospects in developing and emerging industrial economies, a report by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), has said.

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Sea Harvest geared for growth

Over the past two years, Sea Harvest has enjoyed tremendous success and has even bigger ambitions for 2017. This year alone the company’s shareholders invested close to R600m in capital investment and growth which has led to Sea Harvest becoming one of the largest vertically integrated black-owned fishing companies in the country.

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