Business confidence in South Africa declined in February from the prior month, weakened by lower trade volumes and retail sales, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SACCI) monthly business confidence index (BCI) fell to 95.5 in February from 97.7 in January.
“The negative effects came from notable lower merchandise import and export volumes, and less new vehicle and real retail sales,” SACCI said in a statement.
SACCI said slower inflation, higher commodity prices and a slightly stronger rand currency made positive contributions to the index.
Africa’s most industrialised economy is struggling to attract investment, with sentiment dimmed by political uncertainty, weak growth that has hit consumer activity, as well as the looming threat of credit downgrades to junk.
South Africa’s economy contracted 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the final three months of last year as mining and manufacturing output shrank, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.