The FNB HPI remained steady in August at 3.6% y/y. Mining production rebounded by 2.4% y/y in July, and annual manufacturing production growth declined for the second consecutive month in July. The RMB/BER Business Confidence Index (BCI) declined to 21 in 3Q19 from 28 in both of the previous two quarters and has been below the 50-point neutral mark for almost five years.
In the first half of 2019 retail sales volumes rose by a mere 1.7% y/y compared to a 3.6% increase in the same period last year. South Africa recorded a R2.88 billion trade deficit in July. The Absa manufacturing PMI fell below the 50-point neutral mark in August to a reading of 45.7. New vehicle sales contracted by 5.1% y/y in August. Second-quarter GDP grew by 3.1% q/q. During 2Q19 SA's current account deficit deteriorated to 4% of GDP; in rand terms the deficit widened to R204.2bn during 2Q19 from R143.5bn in Q1.
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