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.