|TRADE CONDITIONS SURVEY - PRESS RELEASE|
|Wednesday, 16 November 2016 11:30|
Restrained Trade Conditions
The October 2016 SACCI trade survey indicates constricted trade conditions as the Trade Activity Index (TAI) remained on 51 while the seasonally adjusted TAI measured 48 – down into negative territory from 52 in September. However, the seasonally adjusted TAI was 2 points higher than in October 2015.
Respondents mentioned political stability, seasonal factors, the weak economy, the regulatory environment, and skills shortages as complicating trade conditions. Exports to Africa were seen being positive.
Real retail trade remained at about the same level as last year while merchandise export volumes (-0.5%) and merchandise import volumes (-6.0%) were lower than a year ago. New vehicle sales were about 10% lower in October 2016 than a year ago. These numbers confirm the restrained trade conditions experienced by respondents.
Although new orders improved and supplier deliveries, inventories and backlogs were unchanged, sales volumes dipped from 55 in September to 52 in October 2016. There was an upward tick in sales and input price, but price expectations were lower than earlier in the year. The employment sub-index declined slightly to 49 after it dropped by four index points to 50 in September 2016.
Trade expectations remained in the positive but declined from 59 to 55 between September and October 2016. The seasonally adjusted Trade Expectations Index (TEI) also declined from 60 to 57 with sales and new orders expectations both declining in October 2016.
There were two components, namely, supplies and employment prospects that improved from September 2016. Inflationary expectations on input costs (index at 78) as well as sales prices (index at 67) have increased somewhat and still remain high.
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