Although the June 2016 BankservAfrica Economic Transaction Index (BETI) – a measure of all South African interbank transactions under R5m– recorded a slight month-on-month increase, there are signs that the South African economy and its consumers are not out of the woods.
“June’s month-on-month BETI increase of 0.3% was slightly higher than May’s significant drop, but it is still the smallest increase this year,” says Dr Caroline Belrose, Head of Knowledge and Risk Services at BankservAfrica.
“The quarterly percentage changes remain negative while the yearly increase is below 1%, in line with South African economic growth expectations.”
The data trend shows the South African market has been stagnant over the last two to three years, and there is no indication of real growth in the immediate future as economic transactions oscillate between negative and positive monthly growth.
“This month’s data reflects the extent of the volatility within the economy where some sectors, such as manufacturing, are showing signs of a slight pick-up, while the declining car sales records paint a picture of a distressed market,” says Mike Schüssler, Chief Economist at Economists dotcoza.
Along with below inflation credit growth, economic transactions indicate that bank customers are transacting more but at a very slow rate. The actual number of transactions used to compile the BETI increased by 2.8% year-on-year to R86.6m.
“Overall, this means there has been a marginal economic uptick, while remaining volatile,” Schussler adds.
The BankservAfrica Economic Transaction Index (BETI) measures South African interbank payment system transactions, smaller than R5 million, giving a broad picture of the current South African economy.