Standard Bank has issued its October SARS trade data commentary, as follows:
South Africa’s trade balance for September 2016 reflected a surplus of R6,7-billion following August’s revised deficit of R-8,8-billion. The trade account’s year to date position has improved to R-9,9-billionn when comparing it to September 2015 (deficit of R-37,2-billion). A trade surplus was in line with market expectations.
“We are resilient, we are committed, we are resourceful” – these words echoed throughout Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan’s, Budget speech in February and a similar sentiment rang through the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement delivered in the past week. The country has endured a number of tests during this year but has continued to persevere. We are committed to working through the current challenges to come out stronger in the end.
There has been increased collaboration between businesses, government and labour this year which will help to further the development agenda of the country. Growth will be achieved albeit a very low growth.
Businesses would do well to take the theme of the budget speech into account within their operations. They would need to be resilient in the face of adversities such as the low growth environment coupled with increased interest rates and costs of doing business and a generally negative outlook. Businesses should be committed to achieving the objectives they set out for themselves, but equally be adaptive to develop new objectives in trying times. Resourcefulness is an incredible quality to have as it speaks to the ability to do more with less.
Our economy is projected to reach 0,5% growth this year, however there are better growth prospects for a 1,7% growth in 2017, possibly even higher growth if the country collaborates towards achieving this. Businesses should be looking towards developing strategic partnerships that could sustain their growth over the long term. This would involve obtaining the right long term investments.