Surprise recession

We had the surprise announcement on Tuesday (4 September) that growth in the second quarter of this year was again negative (-0.7%). We use the word ‘again’, because the first quarter was also negative at -2.6%, with two successive quarters of negative growth triggering the term ‘recession’. We had anticipated a marginally positive number on Tuesday with broad-based tepid growth being dragged down by agriculture and manufacturing. As it turns…

SA National Budget 2018

Initial impressions   Improvement relative to Treasury’s October 2017 projections  Contractionary budget : (real) revenue growth expected to outstrip expenditure growth  Budget focused on growth-enhancing mechanisms to restore confidence and propel SA’s growth trajectory to a higher platform over time  Structural revenue proposals positive for revenue base going forward  Meaningful cuts to expenditure (outside of tertiary education allocation) suggest a prudent approach to fiscal policy Immediate…