Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Business confidence is expected to rise as the government provides greater clarity on policy issues, according to a recent survey.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) business confidence index (BCI), which assesses the business climate, rose by 2.8 points to 93.3 in September 2018, from 90.5 in August. The BCI declined by 4.2 points in August 2018 month-on-month.

Compared to the same period last year, the index was 0.3 points higher.

“The present business climate and restrained economic momentum, originate from the economic and business environment over the past three years. It is important that these adverse conditions are dealt with in preparation [for] sustainable economic prospects with policy certainty,”  Sacci said in a statement.

Four of the 13 sub-indices of the composite BCI improved in September 2018, compared to August, while five were unchanged and four were negative. In particular, merchandise export volumes, new vehicle sales and lower inflation were the biggest positive contributors to the index.

“The initiatives of the stimulus package, announced by the president, should be outlined in more detail over the coming months. It remains imperative to create and build institutional capabilities to implement and translate policy, plans and ideas into actual outcomes that can be measured and monitored,” said Sacci.

It expects business confidence to lift with the upcoming medium-term budget policy statement, and the investment summit this month, which will provide policy certainty.