SA economy still struggling, despite rise in business confidence

The Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) business confidence index, put together by the Bureau for Economic Research, rose to 40 points in the first quarter of 2017 – up from 38 in the last quarter of 2016.

According to Reuters, this is well below the 50-mark separating net positive and negative territories. In fact, only four times since 2008 has the index risen above the 50-mark, which RMB had said is indicative of a flailing economy.

Indeed, South Africa has struggled the last while: foreign investment is low, growth is weak, consumer spending has decreased and the threat of a credit downgrade to junk hangs heavy over everything. What's more, the economy contracted 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the final quarter of last year, though business confidence has risen slightly.