The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz), in support of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), developed the Agbiz-IDC Agribusiness Confidence index 16 years ago. It has become a reputable index that is widely used by stakeholders such as agribusinesses, organised agriculture, economists, analysts, researchers and academics, among others. The index is of importance because, among many other things, it projects how SA’s agricultural GDP might perform in succeeding quarters. Broadly, the index covers the 10 most important aspects, or sub-indices, influencing business activity in the agricultural sector — turnover, net operating income, market share, employment, capital investment, export volumes, economic growth, general agricultural conditions, debtor-provision for bad debt and financing costs. An index reading above 50 points indicates expansion in agribusiness activity, and the inverse is also true. I never thought about the intricacies of calculating the final numbers unti...

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