JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry said Wednesday that its Business Confidence Index (BCI) dropped from 117.3 in December 2022 to 112.9 in January 2023 due to load shedding, but market sentiments remain high.
On a month-on-month basis, eight of the 14 sub-indices had a positive impact on the BCI between December and January. These include increased merchandise import volumes, increased tourist numbers, better retail sales and higher share prices, the chamber said in a statement.
Energy supply, including electricity blackouts, had a direct and severe negative effect on business confidence in January although the lower cost of fuel provided some relief, but the fuel cost remained relatively high, it said.
Fuel prices in the country are now 23 percent higher than a year ago, according to the chamber.
On a year-on-year basis, the medium-term business environment remained positive as the BCI still improved last year but at a slower pace than previously, it said.
South Africa is currently experiencing severe electricity shortages and the government has declared a national state of disaster to address the crisis. ■