The impact of the escalating global trade war is likely to shave 0.1% off South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP) baseline forecast in 2019 and 0.2% in 2020, according to Fitch Ratings' June 2018 "Global Economic Outlook" baseline forecast.
Fitch forecast that the escalation in the trade war is likely to reduce the world GDP by 0.4% in 2019 and by 0.3% in 2020.
"An escalation of global trade tensions that results in new tariffs on $2trn in global trade flows would reduce world growth by 0.4% in 2019, to 2.8% from 3.2%," the Fitch Ratings said in a statement on Wednesday.
The US, Canada and Mexico would be the most affected countries. Fitch expects China would be less severely impacted, with GDP growth around 0.3% below the baseline forecast. Fitch points out that China would only be affected directly by US protectionist measures, whereas the US would be imposing tariffs on a large proportion of its imports, while being hit simultaneously by retaliatory measures from four countries or trading blocs.
"The imposition of further tariff measures currently being considered by the US administration and commensurate retaliatory tariffs on US goods by the EU, China, Canada and Mexico would mark a significant escalation from tariff measures imposed to date," according to Fitch.
"The tariffs would initially feed through to higher import prices, raising firms' costs and reducing real wages. Business confidence and equity prices would also be dampened, further weighing on business investment and reducing consumption through a wealth effect."
Export competitiveness in the countries subject to tariffs would decline, resulting in lower export volumes. The negative growth effects would be magnified by trade multipliers and feed through to other trading partners not directly targeted by the tariffs. Import substitution would offset some of the growth shock in the countries imposing import tariffs.
Fitch forecasts that most countries not directly involved in the trade war would see their GDP falling below baseline, though generally at a much lower scale.
Net commodity exporters would be more severely hit, as slower world growth would push oil and hard commodity prices down. On the other hand, for some net commodity importers, the benefits from lower hard commodity prices would more than offset the impact of lower world growth.
SBV is offering a R1 million reward for information on a cash-in-transit heist that left two guards dead in Tsolo, Eastern Cape, on Friday.
It said in a statement that it took exception to loss of life and was offering the reward for information that would lead to the successful arrest and conviction of those involved.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo previously told News24 that the guards were loading money at an ATM machine near a supermarket when a group of armed men pounced on them.
Naidoo said the suspects fled with an undisclosed amount of money in a hijacked van.
SBV said two of its guards were killed. The driver of the van was unharmed.
Counselling was being offered to those affected.
The company was also offering R100 000 rewards for information on heists that took place in Pietermaritzburg and Hammanskraal on Monday.
Security company Fidelity said on Saturday that despite figures indicating a reduction in cash-in-transit incidents during the month of June, it could be a different story for July.
"This week alone, there have been four cross pavement incidents and three vehicle attacks – one of these occurred in the Eastern Cape and two in Bloemfontein which is worrying as the crime could simply be dispersing into other areas," said Wahl Bartmann, CEO of Fidelity Security Group, in a statement.
Police officials on Friday welcomed the reduction of cash-in-transit robberies in the June figures, saying the implementation of the South African Police Service's nationwide stabilisation programme was paying off.
"These robberies have been reduced significantly by 61% in the month of June 2018, compared to the month of May 2018," Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner General Khehla John Sitole said in a joint statement.
More than 40 suspects had been arrested since June 4, 2018.
"Four of these suspects rank among the top 20 of identified suspects wanted for similar crimes," the statement read.
Cele and Sitole noted that despite the reduction in incidents, there had been several robberies and attempted robberies on cash-in-transit vehicles in the past week.
Domestic sales figures in June 1028 have exceeded industry expectations but export sales continue to disappoint, reports Naamsa.
Vehicles sales by the numbers
New vehicle sales at 46 678 units show an improvement of 1346 vehicles (3.0%) from the 45332 vehicles sold in June 2017.
Overall, export vehicle sales at 26 790 vehicles reflect a decline of 4805 units (-15.2%) compared to the 31 595 vehicles exported in June last year.
Industry break down
Overall, out of the total reported Industry sales of 46 678 vehicles, an estimated 38 498 units or 82.5% represent dealer sales, an estimated 11.0% represent sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 3.7% to industry corporate fleets and 2.8% to government.
The new car market in June 2018 at 29886 units registered a marginal improvement of 1261 cars or a gain of 4.4% compared to the 28 625 new cars sold in June 2017. Naamsa said: "On the back of fleeting replenishment the car rental industry contribution had recovered substantially by 15.1% during the month."
Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses, at 14261 units, declined during June, 2018 by 58 units or 0.4% compared to the 14 319 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.
Naamsa comments on June sales
Naamsa said: "The improvement in domestic sales, particularly new car sales, was encouraging given recent weak economic growth and investment numbers. It appeared that the new car market had been supported by improved business and consumer confidence.
"However, the decline in the leading indicator of the Reserve Bank over the past two months – suggested a challenging economic environment going forward. Normally new vehicle sales during the second half of a calendar year tended to show improvement on first half sales and this reinforced NAAMSA’s expectations of a modest annual improvement in 2018 domestic sales volumes compared to 2017.
The SA car market future
The organisation said: "Naamsa continued to project growth in export sales over the balance of the year. However, the industry’s export performance was likely to be affected by current protectionist policies in the United States which had increased the risk of a global trade war and this could impact on international trade flows, including vehicle exports."