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Majority of businesses still view trade conditions as negative



The lack of economic growth is evident in the latest trade conditions survey and participants also do not have much hope for the future.

The majority of businesses who participated in the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI)’s trade conditions survey said they still experience trade conditions in South Africa as negative, reflecting a tough start to 2024.

The SACCI says the results from the February 2024 Survey of Trade Conditions confirm a rough trade environment that began to deteriorate in October 2023.

The trade activity index only scored 28 index points in January, the worst level since April 2020 after the Covid State of Disaster was announced in March 2020. Although there was a minor improvement to 31 index points between January and February, 69% of the participants in general still experienced February’s trade conditions as negative.

In addition, 79% of the participants said February’s trade conditions were worse than a year ago. Participants’ expectations for the next six months lifted somewhat from 42 index points to 43, but only 43% had positive expectations about future conditions. Seasonal factors did not play a significant role in the deterioration of trade conditions.

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