South Africa Business Sentiment Drops on Politics, State Firms

South African business confidence fell to the lowest level in four months in July as concerns over political uncertainty and state companies’ finances outweighed the positive effects of lower interest rates and higher commodity prices, Bloomberg News reported. An index measuring sentiment declined to 92 from 93.3 in June, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry said Wednesday in an emailed statement. The median estimate of 4 economists in a Bloomberg survey was 93. Business sentiment, which surged to a two-year high in early 2018 after Cyril Ramaphosa won the leadership of the ruling African National Congress and took over as president of the country, is affected by indications that the ruling party is divided “on policy, political and factional lines,” the chamber said. Read more