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Business Confidence Plunges

The latest business confidence index by Rand Merchant Bank and the Bureau for Economic Research has revealed that confidence in Q3 2011is at a one-year low.


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Interest Rate Cut Unlikely

| News by Staff Reporter

At the monetary policy committee meeting on Thursday

Retail sales rose at an annual rate of 2,8% in July, 0,4% higher than the corresponding rate in June, while CPI was seen to slow, dulling hopes of a further interest rate cut.

Stats SA yesterday said retail sales in real terms increased by 2,8% year-on-year in July 2011, up from 2,4% in June.

A recent forecast by economists suggested a slowdown in retail sales to 2% year-on-year in July.

An increase of 2,1% was recorded in retail sales for the three months ended July 2011 compared with the three months ended July 2010, said Stats SA.

The statistics firm also released data yesterday revealing no change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), leading economists to believe the Reserve Bank would in all likelihood leave the repo rate steady at 5,5%.

“The official inflation rate (i.e. the percentage change in the CPI for all urban areas in August 2011 compared with that in August 2010) was 5,3% at August 2011,” said Stats SA. “This rate was unchanged from the corresponding annual rate of 5,3% in July 2011.”

Economists had speculated that the Reserve Bank might cut interest rates due to the economy’s poor performance and the rising unemployment figures, but the latest data from Stats SA, coupled with the currency’s recent sharp depreciation, is likely to negate these facts.

Source: www.bizpremises.co.za