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Research and Insights

  1. Reserves update: international reserves decrease in February

    Annabel Bishop

    06 Mar, 2015

    Gross international reserves declined by US$0.42bn in February to US$47.19bn. Revaluation adjustments pertaining to the gold price and foreign exchange related transactions accounted for most of the change in the gross reserves position.

    1. ECB reaction - 9 March start for QE against brighter outlook

      Philip Shaw

      06 Mar, 2015

      The ECB Governing Council (GC), as universally expected, left key rates on hold – the deposit rate at -0.20%, the refi rate at +0.05% and the marginal lending rate at +0.30%. With the launch of QE having formally been announced at the previous GC meeting on 22 January, ECB President Mario Draghi’s press conference was largely centred on the central bank’s view of the economy and the more detailed modalities of the new asset purchase programme.

    2. MPC reaction – Six years and counting (for a few months longer?)

      Philip Shaw

      05 Mar, 2015

      On the sixth anniversary of the introduction of QE and near zero interest rates, the MPC left policy unchanged at this month’s meeting, as widely expected. Hence the Bank rate was held at 0.5% and the asset purchase target at £375bn. The committee did not publish a material statement.

    1. January trade deficit recorded at –R24.2bn (December R6.8bn), as exports fell by R20bn on the decline in commodity prices, weak global demand and production constraints

      Annabel Bishop

      03 Mar, 2015

      The trade deficit recorded –R24.2bn in January, partly due to the seasonal component of reduced work days which typically sees a large deficit at the start of the year.

    2. Vehicle Sales update: new vehicles sales performance reflective of relatively modest economic growth

      Annabel Bishop

      03 Mar, 2015

      Total new vehicle sales registered only modest growth of 1.1% y/y in February, following a contraction of 1.3% y/y in January.

    1. January trade deficit recorded at –R24.2bn (December R6.8bn), as exports fell by R20bn on the decline in commodity prices, weak global demand and production constraints

      Annabel Bishop

      03 Mar, 2015

      The trade deficit recorded –R24.2bn in January, partly due to the seasonal component of reduced work days which typically sees a large deficit at the start of the year.

    2. PMI update: operating conditions deteriorate in February as load shedding and weak global trade growth constrain production

      Annabel Bishop

      02 Mar, 2015

      The manufacturing PMI reflected a substantial deterioration in operating conditions in February. For the first time since August 2014, the index level dropped back below to 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction. Specifically, the index declined to 47.6 from 54.2 in January.

    1. PMI update: operating conditions deteriorate in February as load shedding and weak global trade growth constrain production

      Annabel Bishop

      02 Mar, 2015

      The manufacturing PMI reflected a substantial deterioration in operating conditions in February. For the first time since August 2014, the index level dropped back below to 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction. Specifically, the index declined to 47.6 from 54.2 in January.

    2. The week ahead: Monday 2 March 2015

      Philip Shaw

      02 Mar, 2015

      For markets globally, a major focus for the week ahead will be Friday’s report on the US labour market. It will be eyed with even more keenness than usual following Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s recent monetary policy testimonies.

    1. Slower credit growth, higher taxes and modest real income growth to act as constraints on household spending

      Annabel Bishop

      27 Feb, 2015

      Private sector credit extension increased at a pace of 9.2% y/y in January, compared to an 8.6% y/y rise in December. The lift in the annual growth rate was underpinned by faster growth in credit extension to corporates of 15.4% y/y versus a prior 14.0% y/y. Household loan growth moderated to 3.5% y/y from 3.7% y/y.