Economic upturn predicted.

Feb 2000 News

Confidence in economic growth is reflected in the stand bookings for the second Cape Industrial Trade Show (CITS) scheduled to be held at the Culemborg Exhibition Centre on Cape Town's foreshore from 9-12 May.

It is expected that 180 leading companies will exhibit at this broad-based industrial trade show. Recent research indicates that participants are convinced that the show will do much to stimulate the Cape regional economy.

"Exhibitors have already snapped up 66% of the available space," said TML Reed Exhibitions General Manager Janet Coom. "Even following the huge success of the inaugural CITS in 1998, we have been pleasantly surprised by exhibitor enthusiasm for this year's show."

Her positive sentiments were echoed by the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry when Executive Director Albert Schuitmaker said, "Economic development in 2000 will be positively influecned by lower inflation rates and probably slightly lower interest rates. The hesitation in expansionary development prior to 2000, with Y2K fears, will be replaced with more positive moves towards new developments."

The South African economy is already showing signs of recovery and real growth of 3,3% is forecast for 2000, according to Stellenbosch University's Bureau for Economic Research (BER).

Addressing a group of TML Reed clients in Gauteng recently, BER Senior Economist Dr Charles Martin said that the business confidence index started a sustained rise in the third quarter of 1999. This, together with a number of other positive indications, pointed to a period of growth in our economy.

He believed that the gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by more than 3% for at least the next two years. While he felt that the headline consumer price index (CPI) was likely to drop to 5% in 2000, the producer price index (PPI) was likely to climb to 6,7%, which meant that core inflation would remain relatively high.

Interest rates were unlikely to fall much below current levels, with the prime overdraft rate expected to remain around 15%.

Among the global factors that were likely to impact locally were predictions of improved growth among our major trading partners, the stabilisation or rise of their interest rates, the strengthening of commodity prices and subdued inflation. Of significance to our export markets, were forecasts of 5% and 4% growth in the economies of emerging Asia and Latin America respectively.

Exhibitor information and stand bookings can be obtained through Johnny Malherbe at TML Reed's Cape Town office on telephone (021) 488 1840, fax (021) 488 1841 or on e-mail

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