New Economic Index Suggests South Africa’s Economy Is Losing Momentum

16 March 2012 13:30 - Jack Stupple

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New Economic Index Suggests South Africa’s Economy Is Losing Momentum

According to a new economic index, South Africa’s economy is losing momentum after relatively strong growth at the end of 2011. The BankservAfrica Economic Transaction Index (Beti) forecasts that year-on-year growth for February was about 3.8%, down from an annual 4.1% for January. The report is a collaboration between BankservAfrica and Mike Schussler, the chief economist at Economists.co.za. This data highlights that the economic growth rate has slowed in recent months. The Beti draws on data from BankservAfrica, which records transactions between banks, with electronically or with paper cheques. The indicator tracks close to 80% of all economic transactions, besides debit, cash and credit cards.

“In the next few months, expect more evidence of a slowdown as more and more data is going to point that the South African economic expansion is losing steam.” Schussler said. He added that, “We believe that until the smoothed Beti sees a trend reversal of over 4.5% it is unlikely that the expansion will pick up momentum again. But similarly, until the smoothed Beti goes below 1% it is unlikely that the South African economy will be in recession.”

Brad Grills, BankservAfrica’s regulated business chief executive said, “The point is that worldwide slowdown is also being felt in the South African economy. However, unlike many developed countries, South Africa’s still has positive growth.”

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