Four measures of SA's economic health to watch this week
The news is expected to be mixed, with jobs stats likely to bring bad news, but optimism about the trade balance, producer inflation and credit extension
1. Quarterly employment statistics
What it is: an establishment-based survey of whether jobs were added or lost in various industries in the private sector, and in government.
What it is not: unlike the quarterly labour force survey, the QES does not provide demographic information
• FNB expects a drop from the fourth quarter of 2018, when seasonal hiring usually accounts for an increase in jobs.
• Investec says more investment is needed to stoke job creation.
2. Producer inflation: Inflation as measured by the producer price index is due on Thursday.
• Investec expects producer inflation to have slowed in May, forecasting a 4.2% year-on-year increase in the PPI, from 4.4% in April.
• FNB expects it to be unchanged.
3. Private sector credit figures, due on Friday: Growth in private sector credit extension slowed to 5.1% in April. Both FNB and Investec expect an uptick to 5.4% for May.
4. Trade balance: The South African Revenue Service announces balance of trade figures on Friday.
Expectations: The trade surplus narrowed sharply in April, but the news is expected to be better in May.
• A Reuters/Bloomberg consensus, cited by Trading Economics, puts it at a R3bn surplus.
• Trading Economics’ own poll points to a much more optimistic R5.4bn surplus.
For more detail on what economists are saying about this, go here.