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Generating long-term economic growth and employment is the most sustainable way to boost tax revenues and stabilise the debt-to-GDP ratio, especially if augmented by the reduction in government spending and the restructuring of spending towards investment.
One year after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, CEOs are voicing record levels of optimism in the global economic recovery, with 76% of global business leaders predicting that economic growth will improve in 2021. Coming off of a global recession (3.5% decline in world GDP) and a GDP contraction of 7% in SA, a record share of CEOs are optimistic about global economic growth this year.
Most small and medium businesses in South Africa had a very difficult 2020 financial year, with many, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors, having to close their doors. Those that survived the pandemic now find themselves having to rebuild – a task made more difficult by a stunted economic environment, with low levels of consumer discretionary income.
Although the rise of COVID-19 presented many challenges to our country in the year 2020, it stimulated the growth of technological innovations that we can build on to the effects on how we do business, how we trade, how we work, how we produce goods, how we learn, how we seek medical services and how we entertain ourselves in 2021.
Talking about oil and gas isn’t easy, especially at a time of widespread anxiety about the link between fossil fuels and climate change. But NJ Ayuk has never been one to shy away from difficult conversations. Instead, he embraces opportunities to approach thorny questions head-on, with a spirit of optimism about the future.
In late 2019, as the African oil and gas industry was looking to the future with optimism, an Offshore Engineer wrote that the continent had reason to expect a 'more productive 2020'. Instead, the unforeseen happened, and the COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the oil and gas industry in Africa and around the world.
Many of us became more comfortable with using technology for everyday purposes like buying groceries, clothing and medication. One aspect of investing that was magnified during the lockdown was the importance of diversification. Introducing different asset classes and geographies into a portfolio can certainly be put down as one of the major lessons from last year.
Global financial markets whipsawed in 2020 in reaction to a devastating COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent decisions taken by governments and policymakers to protect citizens and keep economies afloat. Higher levels of uncertainty were reflected in the initial spike in the CBOE Volatility Index (Vix) in March 2020 before unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus calmed markets during the year.
In an emerging economy like South Africa, human capital development is central to the survival and growth of the economy. The economic system that is conducted in South Africa is a market driven capitalistic one, whose focus is on maintaining a sound financial system that is globally competitive.
Hindsight, they say, is 20/20 vision. This being the year 2020, it turned out to be truer than ever before. For investors, and all of us really, there was so much about this year that was unpredictable, surprising and shocking. With 11 months of the year now past, and in our penultimate note for 2020, we can look back at what investors might have known and could have done.