The South African Reserve Bank said its composite leading business cycle indicator increased by 0.1% m/m in February 2013, moving higher for the eighth month in a row. The indicator, which gathers data such as vehicle sales, job advertisements, business confidence, manufacturing orders and money supply to estimate the economic outlook, was by 1% higher y/y in February, following a 1.9% y/y growth in January. Leading indicators are a popular way to predict turning points in the business cycle.
The central bank said that 4 of the indicator’s 11 components improved in February, with the largest positive contributions coming from an increase in the number of residential building plans approved and from an improvement in the business confidence index.
Among the 7 components that decreased, the largest negative contribution came from a decrease in the 12-month percentage change in job advertisement space, followed by a deceleration in the 12-month percentage change in the number of new passenger cars sold.
South Africa’s MTN said it has agreed, on a non-binding and preliminary basis, to invest an initial $350mn into Iranian fixed broadband provider Iranian Net. The investment will give ... more
Fitch Ratings on April 7 downgraded South Africa to junk status following the removal of Pravin Gordhan as finance minister and the enusing political crisis. Fitch's downgrade to 'BB+' ... more
Standard & Poor’s ratings agency has cut South Africa's sovereign credit rating to 'BB+' from 'BBB-' and the long-term local currency rating to 'BBB-' from 'BBB', both with a negative ... more