The die has been cast with the probability of a ratings downgrade early in 2018 now seemingly high. Hopes have been pinned on an economic saviour emerging from the ANC’s national elective conference, but First National Bank chief economist Mamello Matikinca cautioned that "irrespective of who is nominated, SA’s fiscal metrics remain dire and the probability of a Moody’s downgrade high". The economic data scheduled for publishing this week is expected to be overshadowed by the markets absorbing the outcome of the ANC elective conference, which started at the weekend and will run through to Thursday. The Reserve Bank’s business cycle indicator for October will be published on Monday and Statistics SA will publish tourism figures for October on Tuesday, rounding off a year of economic data. Tumisho Grater, economic strategist at Novare Actuaries and Consultants, said there was marginal improvement in economic growth and activity in particularly the retail sector in the second half of 2...

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