Sensible investment decisions cannot be taken in isolation from the realities of socio-political and economic trends.

The degree to which a government decides to regulate socio-economic activity, combined with the constant matching of supply and demand in a globally predominant free enterprise system, ultimately determine a country’s level of welfare.

Welfare, however, is never static and the nest eggs that individuals nurture for a rainy day in the future may to a varying extent be influenced and measured by the level of and changes to indicators such as the GDP, interest rates, inflation, unemployment, the money supply, fiscal policy, exchange rates and the balance of payments.

In the ongoing quest to provide clients with information that is relevant to the environment in which the investment industry operates, The Optimum Group has decided to publish a concise monthly economic overview available on our website for the public. This column is written by Dr. Roelof Botha, economic adviser of The Optimum Group and an award-winning economist who teaches applied macroeconomics at GIBS (part-time).

September 11, 2020

Making Sense of The GDP Data

Statistics SA has not done the mood in the country any favours by choosing a totally unrealistic method to portray the GDP data for the 2nd quarter.
September 4, 2020


After languishing in contraction mode for nine successive months, the Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector has been above the neutral level of […]
August 19, 2020


Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa has certainly lifted the spirits of the country with the announcement over the past weekend of a sweeping removal of lockdown restrictions. The […]
July 30, 2020


29 July 2020 To date, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has granted South Africa the largest single loan of any country under its Rapid Financing Instrument […]
July 16, 2020

Low inflation points to another rate cut

15 July 2020 Inflationary pressures in the South African economy have all but disappeared, with the May consumer price index (CPI) recording a year-on-year change of […]
July 8, 2020

A tale of two growth rates

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) should get a rap on the knuckles for creating the impression that South Africa was in recession in the first quarter […]
June 23, 2020

Sound prospects for a “V”-shaped recovery

The world finds itself at a crucial juncture in the combating of the coronavirus pandemic, namely the end of strict lockdown regulations. South Africa is no […]
June 5, 2020

Emerging market currencies bounce back

The abnormality that has besieged the world economy has been particularly evident in wildly fluctuating currency markets. One commentator at Investec recently referred to the foreign […]
June 3, 2020

No need to fear nationalisation

When a fairly senior office-bearer of the ruling political party in South Africa advocates the “collapse” of the economy via a policy of nationalisation, it is […]