Business sentiment improved in April on the back of peaceful political campaigns ahead of elections. The SACCI Business Confidence Index (BCI) improved by 1.9 index points to 93.7 in April compared to the March 2019 level.

Compared to April 2018, the BCI has declined by 2.3 index points.

SACCI says sub-indices that recorded improvement include the Rand exchange rate against the major trading and investment currencies, higher share prices on the JSE and real retail sales.

During April, capital and financial markets remained relatively stable while the Rand strengthened, but remained unstable.

SACCI says the business climate and business confidence were impacted by the increase in political party campaigns ahead of the national elections. The organisation says the common theme of election manifestos among political parties is to drive economic growth and job creation as well as fighting corruption and this seems to resonate well with the markets. The absence of load shedding in April has also been favourable.

SACCI says the outcome of the elections should bring more clarity to business and enhance better planning and decision making.