South Africa’s ailing economy sees marginal signs of a rebound

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VENTURES AFRICA – After ending last year with huge economic losses, South Africa is showing signs of a rebound. Central Bank’ business cycle indicator rose 0.3 percent month-on-month in January. The indicator, which is used to gauge economic outlook, collates data on aspects of business such as vehicle sales, job advertisements, business confidence and money supply.

The business indicator was lifted by plans to develop higher residential buildings and an increase in the dollar-based export commodity price index, said the Reuters news agency today.

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South Africa’s Rand climbed to its strongest level against the dollar in two weeks. This past December it fell to its lowest levels in six years. On Monday Reuters, in its market watch, said the currency “broke  a key psychological technical resistance point”.

However, South African share prices fell slightly yesterday despite higher copper prices boosting the producers of the metal. Reuters said it expected the country hold off on changing its policy. It cited its poll, which showed that the Reserve Bank is likely to wait until the fourth quarter before raising interest rates.