April trade conditions in negative territory

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pretoria - Trade conditions in April fell into negative territory, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said on Thursday.

"Current trade conditions, as reflected by the Trade Activity Index (TAI), declined into negative territory from 54 in March 2011 to 45 in April 2011. The seasonally adjusted TAI dipped from 52 to 47," SACCI said.

In April 2010, the TAI measured 47 and the seasonally adjusted TAI was at 49. It appears that trade conditions are more negatively affected than by the usual seasonal impact said SACCI. "However, the April 2011 TAI is 13 points above the April 2009 level of 32."

There was also a substantial decline in the sales volumes index to 46 following on March's level of 61. This represented the largest decline within the TAI.

All the components of trade activity with the exception of selling prices declined. In April, the input price index declined by six points after rising by four points in March.

In April, trade expectations remained in positive territory as the TEI (Trade Expectations Index) registered 63 while the sales expectations index sustained the level of 73. The new orders expectations index increased slightly to 68 while the expectation indices on supplier deliveries and inventories maintained roughly unchanged levels of 56 and 54 respectively.

Meanwhile, the price expectations indices on sales and inputs were down by five and four points to 67 and 74 respectively. "This is indicative of a temporary easing of inflationary pressures. The increase in the diesel price (23 percent year on year) and the tariff increases in public utilities (+/- 25 percent year on year) still point to building price pressures."

"The index on employment conditions in the trade environment deteriorated to 45 April 2011 from 47 in March 2011.The employment prospects index registered 52 - remaining in positive territory and only marginally down from 53 in March 2011," said SACCI.

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