Uninspiring economic growth, difficulties in recovering from labour disruptions, the financial pressures facing households and below-par export volumes were contributing to restrained trade conditions, with the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SACCI’s) seasonally adjusted Trade Activity Index (TAI) for September remaining in negative territory at 48 points.
Although the TAI had improved from the 44 points recorded in August, it was below the 50-point level a year before, with the tight trade conditions struggling to move above the 50-point level.
SACCI noted that the sales volumes and new orders subindices had rebounded with both recovering to 47 points in September; however, both indices remained in negative territory.
Supplies and backlogs on orders also improved, but the inventories index declined by three points to 50.
“The tight trade conditions continued to contain price pressures with the sales price index at 55 and the input price index at 68 in September. Although both price indices increased in September, the levels were below the average of 62 for sales prices and 73 for input prices in the first nine months of 2014,” the chamber pointed out.
Further,SACCI said respondents to its trade survey had remained positive about trade conditions for the coming six months and the seasonally adjusted expectations index recorded a level of 62. Expectations for both sales and input prices correspondingly remained virtually unchanged at 60 and 70.
The employment conditions index in the tradeenvironmentincreased from 45 in August to 47 in September 2014, while prospects for employment improved marginally as the expectations index rose to 53 from 52 in August.
Source: Engineering News
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