The Trade Activity Index (TAI) in South Africa continued on a positive note in July 2013 and remained at the June 2013 level of 55, it was announced here on Tuesday.
On average, positive trade conditions were reflected by the Trade Conditions Survey during the last twelve months despite volatility on a month-to-month basis, said the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).
The seasonally adjusted TAI recovered the one point lost from May to June 2013 to measure 57 in July 2013. The sales volumes and new orders sub-indices increased by three index points in July 2013 to 57 and 60 respectively.
The sub-indices on supplier deliveries and inventories respectively declined by five and six index points between June and July 2013. The decline in inventories in July comes after a strong build-up in May and June 2013.
According to the July 2013 survey, respondents are more positive about trade prospects for the next six months than about the current situation. Both the unadjusted and seasonally adjusted trade expectations indices measured 63 in July 2013.
Respondents' outlook for sales volumes and new orders were slightly more positive in July than in June 2013.
The pressure on input and sales prices is expected to remain high with the sub-indices on price expectations at 78 and 67, respectively.
Employment conditions in the trade sector appear to be stabilizing with the July 2013 level remaining at 50. The employment prospects index declined to 52 in July from 54 in June 2013, which also supported a stabilizing employment situation.
SACCI issued the report as the cabinet convened to address a sluggish economic growth which is projected at two percent this year, putting more pressure on government to turn the tide.
Economists say economic growth of at least six percent or more is needed to create jobs.