IN THE LOOP – WEEK 1
- Home loan applications for March 2021 continue to surge, and exceeds March 2020 by over 80%.
- Bond application values have increased by 20.17% from R976 000.00 to R1 173 000.00.
- Bank acceptance rates are slightly down from 55.4% to 50.24%, an indication of some pullback.
- Lightstone House Price Index for January 2021 showed 3.05% property price inflations from December 2020.
- The FNB HPI annual house price appreciation for February 2021 increased by 4.2% y/y.
South African Economy (Source: Trading Economics)
- The USDZAR increased 0.0519 or 0.35% to 14.8951 on Wednesday March 17 from 14.8563 in the previous trading session.
- After a sharp rebound in the third quarter, the GDP recovery is set to have continued with a projected 5% quarter-on-quarter annualized growth in the fourth quarter. Despite this, the annual GDP contraction is likely to be significant.
- The South African Rand is expected to trade at 14.99 by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics’ global macro models and analysts’ expectations. Looking forward, we estimate it to trade at 15.47 in 12 months time.
- The annual inflation rate in South Africa ticked up to 3.2% in January of 2021 from 3.1% in December 2020 and in line with market expectations, but still close to the lower band of the South African Reserve Bank’s target range of 3-6%.
- Inflation expectations in South Africa is likely to be 4.40% by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics’ global macro models and analysts’ expectations. Looking forward, we estimate inflation expectations in South Africa to stand at 4.50 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the South Africa Inflation Expectations is projected to trend around 5.20% in 2022, according to our econometric models.
- Car registrations in South Africa increased to 24 270 in February 2021 from 23 853 in January of 2021.
- Bank lending rate in South Africa remained unchanged at 7% in February 2021 from 7% in January 2021.
- The RMB/BER Business Confidence Index in South Africa increased to 40 in the fourth quarter of 2020 from 24 in the previous period. It was the highest reading since the second quarter of 2018, as the easing of lockdown restrictions in recent months helped to boost economic activity.
- SA currently has the 16th highest caseload, at 1.529 million; 1,006 new cases were reported earlier this week.
- Covid-19 deaths increased by 65 yesterday, to 51,326; 1.454 million people (or 95%) have recovered from the virus.
- Gauteng has the highest number of confirmed cases, at 409,173 (accounting for 26.8% of the total); 10,011 deaths have been reported.
- The Western Cape has 280,031 (accounting for 18.3% of the total) and 11,353 deaths, while KwaZulu-Natal has 331,854 (accounting for 21.7% of the total) and 9,832 deaths.
- The Eastern Cape has 194,333 cases (accounting for 12,7% of the total) and 11,323 deaths.
- 9.450 million tests have been conducted since 5 March; 23,903 tests were conducted earlier this week.
- 145,544 healthcare workers have been vaccinated to date.
- The health minister has indicated that SA could get 20 million more J&J vaccine doses; SA currently has an agreement for 11 million doses. The J&J shot is being administered to 500,000 healthcare workers in a research study to evaluate it before a larger-scale rollout is expected in Q2:21.