The week in perspective
Employment in South Africa
Employment in South Africa dropped by 69 000 jobs between March and June
2018, Statistics SA announced in its latest Quarterly Employment Statistics
Employment in South Africa dropped by 69 000 jobs between March and June 2018, Statistics SA announced in its latest Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) bulletin. Stats SA reported that non-agricultural formal sector employment dropped from 9 817 000 in March 2018 to 9 748 000 in June 2018.
The rand was stronger in line with other emerging-market currencies, which have slowly restored gains after recent sharp losses. The currency has gained more than 1% towards the end of the week, defying expectations that it would see selling pressure after another US interest rate rise. The currency was trading at R14.14 to the USD, R18.43 against the pound and R16.42 against the euro.
Local markets sold off sharply and the all-share index (alsi) lost 2.51% for the week. Industrials contributed 3.54%, while the financial sector contributed 2.84% to the loss.
On the international front, US consumer spending rose in August at the slowest pace in six months, reflecting moderation from more robust readings on the biggest part of the economy. Inflation remained near the Federal Reserve’s target pace.
The UK current account deficit widened more than economists forecast in the second quarter, raising fresh questions about the sustainability of the shortfall as Britain prepares for Brexit.
Eurozone inflation accelerated in September amid a surge in energy costs, while underlying price moves remained more subdued. At 2.1%, inflation has now been above the European Central Bank’s goal for a fourth month in a row.
Sharp gains in the price of Brent crude oil, with the price jumping by 5.30% to $82.90 a barrel, led some analyst to predict oil prices could return to the $100 a barrel mark last seen in 2014. Hopes remain high for more rand strength to cushion the effect on already record-high fuel prices.
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