Wednesday, 24 June 2009 14:16

Inflation slows slightly

Written by Paul Bedford

South Africa's consumer price index for May was 8.0% year-on-year according to figures released by Statistics South Africa earlier today. The figure is lower than April's index of 8.4% year-on-year, but is slightly higher than the consensus figure of 7.9% reached in a survey of economists by I-Net Bridge. Twelve months ago CPI was at 9.9%.

Although the figure is still considerably above the Reserve Banks' target range of 3 to 6%, many economists still expect the bank's monetary policy committee to reduce interest rates by another 50 basis points next time they meet.

Thursday, 28 May 2009 17:30

Repo rate cut again

Written by Paul Bedford

Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni today announced that the bank's monetary policy committee has cut the repo rate by 100 basis points.

The repo rate is now 7.5 percent while the prime rate charged by commercial banks will drop to 11 percent.

According to Business Report the National Lotteries Board is probing the legality of a number of SMS based competitions including MTN's 15 birthday competition and e TV's Game Time competition.

National Lotteries Board spokesperson Sershan Naidoo said they had asked MTN to provide details of how the competition was run after receiving complaints from consumers. Naidoo said, "We want to determine how the winner is determined. If it's through a draw or chance, then it is an illegal lottery."

Thursday, 28 May 2009 15:54

PPI slows in April

Written by Paul Bedford

Statistics South Africa relleased figures today showing  that the producer price index (PPI) rose by 2.9% year-on-year in April 2009 from 5.3% year-on-year in March. The decline is the eighth consectutive decrease in the producer price inflation headline number.

A survey of leading economists by I-Net Bridge produced forecasts ranging from 2.2% to 4.2% with an average figure of 3.4%.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009 14:15

CPI down slightly

Written by Paul Bedford

South Africa's consumer price index (CPI) remains high, coming in at 8.4% year-on-year in April according to figures released by Statistics South Africa this morning. The March figure was 8.5%. The month-on-month figure was 0.5% compared to 1.3 % in March.

A survey of leading economists by I-Net Bridge predicted a consensus figure of 8.2% with estimates ranging between 8.1% and 8.6%. According to economists the figure, while not too much of a shock, is still concerning.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009 15:15

SA in recession

Written by Paul Bedford

Figures released by Statistics South Africa this morning confirm that the country is officiall in a recession for the first time since 1992. South Africa's economy shrank by 6.4 % in the first quarter of 2009 following a 1.8% contraction in the final quarter of 2008, thus meeting the technical definition of a recsssion which is two successive quarters of negative GDP growth.

The first quarter figure was considerably worse than expected with leading economists predicting a decrease between 0.7% and 5.2%.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009 20:32

R251 million fine confirmed

Written by Paul Bedford

The R251 million fine negotiated between Sasol and the Competition Commission yesterday was today confirmed by the Competition Tribunal.

The fine, the highest settlement ever reached by the Competition Commission, represents 8% of the turnover of Sasol's Nitro division and was imposed after Sasol admitted to collusion in the fertilizer industry.

Three senior managers, two regional marketing managers and one a former managing director, have been suspended for their alleged role in the collusion according to Sasol spokeperson Jacqui O'Sullivan.

The National Consumer Forum said that the fine should have been higher. Spokesperson Thami Bolani said, "We think that if the country is to get rid of anti-competitive behaviourin the country especially by large companies we need to take much stronger action."

Wednesday, 20 May 2009 14:09

SAMWU members to go on sympathy stike

Written by Paul Bedford

SAMWU Gauteng spokesperson Dumisani Langa today announced that all of its 54 000 members in the province would down tools on Thursday 28 May in solidarity with Johannesburg Metrobus drivers who have been on strike since 28 April.

Speaking to Sapa Langa said, "We have served the city with notice."

Wednesday, 20 May 2009 12:42

Rock fall kills one

Written by Paul Bedford

A rock fall at Goldfields' Kloof Mine last night has left one miner dead and another missing. The National Union of Mineworkers said this morning that the rock fall occured following a seismic event that measured 1.5 on the Richter scale.

Goldfields confirmed the accident and said it would release more information later today.

Tuesday, 05 May 2009 17:33

Unemployment up

Written by Paul Bedford

Figures released by Statistics South Africa today show that SA's unemployment rate rose to 23.5% in the first quarter of 2009. This is up from the 21.9% recorded in the last quarter of 2008. According to Stats SA's quarterly labour force study 208 000 people living in South Africa lost their jobs in the first quarter of 2009 with losses occuring in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

The year on year unemployment figures, however, showed almost no change with the number of unemployed people remaining virtually unchanged at 13.6 million.

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