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South Africa’s business confidence drops to 6-month low

Published on 08/01/2015

South African business confidence has fallen to its lowest level in six months on the back of electricity shortages and a weaker currency, a leading survey showed on Thursday.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Business Confidence Index said the drop in the business confidence index dropped to 88.3 in December from 90.8 the previous month was a “matter of grave concern”.

It is the lowest level since July, when it stood at 87.9 points.

South Africa’s economy is in difficulty, beset by slow growth of around 1.4 percent, high unemployment, a weaker rand and now electricity shortages.

In December the state-owned power utility Eskom unleashed the biggest rolling blackouts in almost seven years due to an overstrained electricity generation system.

The chamber is “concerned that the electricity shortages will cause the economy to stagnate at low levels of activity.”

“An apathetic approach to economic challenges has led to the constrained environment South Africa finds itself in,” said the chamber.

South Africa, the continent’s most developed and long its economic powerhouse, last year lost its number one spot on the continent to Nigeria.