Business Index Declines to 142 in April

The IJG Business Climate Index declined by a relatively minor 0,4 index points in April to reach 142 index points following a decline of 5,5 points in the preceding month.

The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) said in a report yesterday that having topped out at a record high in November, the index has continued to trend downwards throughout 2014.

“However, the index’s downswing appeared to be losing momentum in April. The slight decline is primarily on account of a slowing in vehicle sales off a record high in the preceding month,” the IPPR said.

The report said additionally, slight declines have been seen in the meat and metal price indices, as well as the value of building plans completed.

It said the effect of these declines was partially offset by increases in company registrations and the numbers of building plans approved. Additionally, the fish price index expanded by 30,8 index points, on account of monk and hake fillets prices increasing as compared to March’s prices.

“The decline in the Business Climate Index through much of the first quarter of 2014 is largely due to base effects following abnormally g index growth through the second half of 2014. Going forward, the index is expected to once again improve, reflecting the g growth environment in the local economy and the ongoing fiscal and monetary expansion being undertaken by policy makers in the country,” the IPPR said.

This view is reinforced by the g showing of the leading indicator, which has been trending upward over the past 18 months. Now at an index level of 193,1, the leading indicator is at the second highest level ever, following a spike to 224 in February, on account of an abnormally high number of building plans approved and an increase in commercial vehicle sales.

Commodity prices remain a mixed bag, with mineral and meat prices down, and fish prices increasing, albeit marginally, the report said.

The IPPR said vehicles sales have declined off an abnormally high base, and while the building plans approved index is up, the completed plans index moved downward.

“The export index for Namibia moved up once again in April, while the leading indicator continues to suggest a positive outlook for the IJG Business Climate Index and local economy,” the report said.

Source : The Namibian