74.24% of CEO’s do not believe that South Africa will achieve the forecast 3.3% GDP growth in 2021

Responses indicate that CEO’s find fault with the government for their inability to follow through with their policies and plans, citing the vaccine roll-out plan in particular, as well as the hindrance of a government riddled with corruption and the misuse of state funds, ultimately stunting potential growth. CEO’s are extremely concerned that, as a nation, we will not be as successful as we need to be in order to effectively navigate through the tumultuous economic conditions exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. High unemployment rates and high taxes, CEO’s state, similarly contribute to the projected slow growth and low investment.

The Merchantec CEO Confidence Index in Q1 scored 45.9, which is below the neutral score line of 50 points. This score is an increase from 2019’s Q4, which was 39.9. Despite this increase, the score still indicates a lack of confidence in the economy.


First Quarter 2021

Within the last five years, the CCI has wavered between a score of 38.1 and 60, peaking in Q2 of 2018 with the election of Cyril Ramaphosa increasing the confidence in the economy. Since this peak, CEO’s confidence has continued to decrease and in 2019, they called for less talk and more action on the part of the government. This sentiment has continued into 2021, heightened by the stresses brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Basic Resources saw an increase of 241.67% to a score of 51.25.

Consumer Goods showed an increase of 29.52%, moving to a score of 54.58.

Consumer Services increased to 51.82, an increase of 9.74%.

Financials increased by 44.44% to 65.

Industrials increased by 64.58%, moving to a score of 61.47.

Technology increased slightly by 1.04% to a score of 53.33.

More about the Merchantec CEO Confidence Index

The Merchantec CEO Confidence Index, which consists of five components, collates views from CEOs of top South African companies and therefore provides a leading indicator into how business leaders perceive local market conditions and the economy going forward.

The Merchantec CEO Confidence Index is a copyright report prepared quarterly by Merchantec Capital. The survey collates responses from over 1 000 top CEOs, from the listed and non-listed environment.