South Africa's business confidence index (BCI) performed better in December 2013 than the previous month on a month-on-month basis, a business group said on Thursday.
The BCI increased by 1.1 index points to 91.9 in December 2013 from 90.8 in November 2013, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said in its BCI report released in Johannesburg.
"Although this is the highest reading for the BCI in the second half of 2013, it is 1.1 index points below the December 2012 level, " the chamber said.
The average level for the BCI in 2013 was 91.4 compared to an average of 94.1 in 2012. In relation to previous years, 2013 presented the worst annual performance for the BCI since 1999 when the BCI averaged 87.6 and when the business cycle was in a downward phase.
The average for the 2013 BCI was 8.1 index points below the level of 100 for the 2010 base year and 27.6 index points below the annual peak of 119 in 2006.
Four sub-indices of the BCI did not move significantly between December and November 2013, five had a negative impact, while four positively influenced the BCI in December 2013, said the chamber.
On a year-on-year basis, four sub-indices made positive contributions to the BCI, eight had a negative impact and one was neutral.
Major activities like exports and manufacturing improved on a year-on-year basis, while municipal services and lower real financing cost also contributed, albeit to a lesser extent, to the December 2013 uptick in the BCI, according to the chamber.