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S. Africa Employment Up, Business Confidence Dips

FILE: Woman walks past display screen at Johannesburg Stock Exchange - bourse - South Africa. Taken February 12, 2015

Employment is surging in South Africa’s services sector like hotels and hospitality following an uptick in international tourism post-pandemic, data showed Wednesday.

South Africa's business confidence dropped in the latest reported quarter of 2022 because of significant falls in wholesale and retail confidence.

That's the report from the Bureau for Economic Research per a survey by the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB).

The survey showed that business confidence index dropped one point to 38 in the quarter, compared with the three previous months.

However, building confidence continued to grow, according to a survey of more than 1,000 executives, climbing 17 points to 46.

Also, wholesale confidence dipped from 50 to 37 points while retail confidence fell nine points to 42.

Surging inflation has restricted consumer spending, while measures to tackle longer electrical load-shedding hours in the Southern African nation have raised operating costs in the retail industry.

RMB chief economist Ettienne Le Roux told Reuters that the government’s inability to solve the energy crisis is largely to blame for the low business confidence.

"There is no denying the fact that the economy would be doing so much better were it not for the slow pace that continues to describe the government's efforts in addressing growth-damaging constraints such as insufficient electricity, poorly functioning ports and a failing railway network," he said.