About the CEO Confidence Index

The Merchantec CEO Confidence Index is a quarterly copyright report which collates the views of CEO’s of listed, large private and multinational companies in South Africa since 2009. CEOs are key players in the market and economy and are instrumental in influencing the future of Corporate SA. Therefore, by collecting CEOs views, the CEO Confidence Index provides a leading indicator of economic and market conditions as well as insight into how South African business leaders perceive the economy going forward.

The Index is unique in that it accounts for CEO Confidence according to sectors – making a good connection to Company prospects in the various sectors.

Merchantec Capital supports the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

Merchantec Capital has made a commitment to donate R100 to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund on behalf of each CEO who completes the questionnaire. Donations will go toward the operation and development of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, which provides specialised care to South Africa’s underprivileged children. Learn more about this initiative and the beneficiary by clicking here.

Our Latest Report

Over Half of South African CEOs Express Doubts About BRICS Benefits, Reveals CCI Q3 Questionnaire

Merchantec CEO Confidence Index increased 10% while Basic Resources experienced a 24% decline

This quarter’s Merchantec CEO Confidence Index (MCCI) revealed that 55% of CEOs harbor doubts regarding the potential benefits of South Africa’s association with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). The questionnaire aimed to gauge perceptions regarding whether BRICS could offer South Africa opportunities for trade, investment, and technology exchange that could contribute to the nation’s economic growth and development.

The results, which have generated substantial interest in the business community, suggest that a significant portion of South African CEOs do not view BRICS as a remedy for the nation’s economic woes. One of the prominent concerns voiced by CEOs is that BRICS members are not substantial trading partners for South Africa when compared to existing key partners like the United Kingdom and the United States. Some CEOs even expressed apprehension that closer ties with BRICS might alienate these existing trade partners, possibly due to perceived conflicts of interest.

Furthermore, the current economic climate in South Africa has left many CEOs uninspired and lacking confidence. Businesses are struggling with persistent power outages, logistical challenges, corruption, and high-interest rates, making it increasingly difficult to operate. Despite these challenges, the MCCI recorded a 10% improvement in CEO Confidence between Q2 and Q3 of 2023. This increase in overall CEO confidence in South Africa is demonstrated by rising confidence in the following sectors: Consumer Goods, Industrials, Financials, Information and Communication Technology, and Consumer Services, reaching 51.4 points in Q3.

Consumer Services recorded the largest increase in confidence at 35% moving to a score of 55.42. This sentiment was attributed to a 34% increase in confidence relating to company growth expectations.

Consumer Goods recorded an increase in confidence for Q3 2023, rising 16% from 45.88 to 53.24 points, moving above the neutral score line of 50 points. The rise in sentiment was primarily driven by a 35% increase in confidence relating to economic conditions and an increase of 17% in company growth expectations.

Technology increased by 16% in confidence in Q3 2023.

Financials recorded a 15% increase in confidence. This sentiment was attributed to a 68% increase in confidence relating to economic conditions and an increase of 23% in company growth expectations.

Industrials saw a 11% increase in confidence, moving to a score of 51.96. The increase in overall confidence was primarily driven by increases in economic conditions and industry growth expectations.

Basic Resources confidence dropped by 24% in Q3 2023, after leading in Q2 2023. The drop in confidence is attributed to a 64% decrease in confidence relating to economic conditions, a 22% decrease relating to the planned level of investment, a 14% decrease in confidence relating to company growth expectations, a 14% decrease relating to their ability to secure debt or equity capital, and a 9% decrease in confidence relating to industry growth expectations. However, there was a notable confidence increase of 22% relating to planned level of investment.

Listen to interview with Gugulethu Mfuphi from Kaya FM & Myles Waldeck, Head of M&A Buy Side at Merchantec Capital

Past Reports

Q2 2023

Basic Resources Sector Leads the Way as CEO Confidence Improves

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Q1 2023

100% of CEO’s support Merchantec’s CSR initiative while confidence drops to lowest level since 2019

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Q4 2022

CEOs Confidence deteriorates as the year comes to an end

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Q3 2022

79% of CEO’s believe increased digital inclusion through expanded internet access for SA consumers will benefit their business 

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Q2 2022

75% of CEO’s think that the SA economy will dip into a recession over the next 12 months as CEO Confidence decreases by almost 20%

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Q1 2022

Basic Resources CEO’s Confidence at an all time high while inflation is set to breach SARB’s 3-6% range

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