Things generally Cue tumbleweed, clangy guitar, haunting whistle
A mixed bag, as usual, for the dear old SA economy this week. First the good: the rand breached the $13 mark on the welcome tidings of a trade surplus for June. And by the time you read this, we may have had a spot of good news on the manufacturing front: economists, who like a stopped clock are right occasionally, predicted that manufacturing production for June may see an improvement of as much as 3% on steady demand from our trading partners. Next, the bad: According to PwC, which needs aCronyM therapy, South Africa took first place in their Global Economic Crime Survey 2018, meaning as far as we can tell, that 77% of our businesses have been hit by fraud. Another shameful measure may be found on the City Press Wealth Index, where South Africa’s 50 richest men own as much as the combined GDPs of Mozambique and Namibia. And we used the term “men” advisedly: there’s only one woman in the top 50. And then the truly ugly: Unemployment rose to 27.2% in the second quarter, from 26.7% in the first, with the loss of 108,000 jobs in manufacturing, 96,000 in social services and 58,000 in trade.
Comment: This last set of numbers renders the rest relative at best: what good is manufacturing growth and personal wealth if jobs do not result?