The business climate continued to affect business confidence negatively as the Business Confidence Index (BCI) remained at a depressed level of 90.2 in June 2013, compared with 90.4 in May 2013, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said on Wednesday.
In June 2012, the BCI was 4.7 index points higher at 94.9 while the average of 91.7 for the BCI in the first half of 2013 is four index points below the average of 95.7 for the BCI in the first half of 2012, SACCI said.
This is also the lowest first half-year average since the 86.3 for 1999.
The disruption in global financial markets in June 2013, attributable to the announcement that the United States is considering tapering off its liquidity enhancement program known as Quantitative Easing (QE), adversely impacted business confidence, the chamber said.
An improperly implemented reduction in QE would have a profound effect on financial markets and on the flow of global investment funds.
Businesses in emerging markets must be prepared to accommodate a reduced liquidity environment as much of the QE liquidity found its way to emerging economies' capital markets, SACCI CEO Neren Rau said. "SACCI is concerned that countries considered to have high balance of payment (BoP) sensitivities, such as chronic current account deficits and dependence on portfolio capital inflows from abroad, would be hardest hit by financial market turbulence," Rau said.
"SACCI remains concerned about the capacity of the domestic economy to contend with the prospect of higher inflation, further constraints on access to liquidity and economic stagnancy in a variety of sectors," he said.
Investor and business confidence must be restored, he said, adding that sustainable economic growth remains the only platform from which a response to South Africa's socio-economic challenges can be addressed.