SACCI concerned about economy

SOUTH Africa's business confidence index fell in December on concerns that an economic recovery from a recession will be weak, sponsor South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said on Thursday.

SOUTH Africa's business confidence index fell in December on concerns that an economic recovery from a recession will be weak, sponsor South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said on Thursday.

The SACCI said in a statement the BCI fell to 83,5 in December from 84,1 in November and averaged 82,8 in 2009, the lowest annual figure since the 81,9 of 2002.

The industry body said despite the economy exiting a recession, many of the consequences of the slump still pervade the local economy.

"Though the markets have factored in a more brisk recovery, both the global and local economies struggle to recover from the impact that the substantial disruption of the international financial system," the SACCI said in a statement.

South Africa exited its first recession in 17 years in the third quarter but consumers continue to struggle after a million job losses and high debt levels.

The SACCI said concerns about management of public sector institutions and looming administered price adjustments contributed the uncertainty about the economy.

The government has yet to name a permanent chief executive at power firm Eskom after the departure of Jacob Maroga in November. Eskom has asked for a 35% tariff increase a year over the next three to help finance its capacity-building programme.

Higher electricity prices have raised inflation fears and analysts have increased costs could hamper the recovery. - Reuters

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