The economy may be headed south, but no one’s bailing out, just yet!

If a majority of South Africa’s graduate professionals believe the country’s economy is headed for a double dip recession as was pronounced early today, then the economy is probably headed south.

At least that’s the distinct impression one gained following publication of the latest Graduate Professionals Confidence Index by PPS earlier today and which reflected that as many seven in 10 graduate professionals in South Africa involved in a survey recenty said they exoected to see a double dip recession.

These are guys who barely ever make public pronouncements, often preferring to leave matters of the nature to economists and such like social commentators.

But the good news was, fewer of them were planning to jump the ship yet and go for greener pastures elsewhere in the world.

Gerhard Joubert, head of group marketing and stakeholder relations at PPS, felt the result reflected that the state of the country’s economy was one of the “most pressing” issues for graduate professionals currently


Approximately 3000 graduate professionals were surveyed for the sectoral confidence index monitor, according to Joubert. These include medical and law practitioners, engineers, townplanners and a whole host of others.

PPS has as many as 200 000 of the graduate professional as members and, of course, the calibre of people – as would be expected – were also concerned about a whole range of other social and economic issues, from crime, corruption to currency exchange rate, the report said.

Of the 71% of respondents who thought we are headed for yet another economic recession, it was Nick Battersby, CEO at PPS Investments who was more to the point, stating; “This is a considerably worse prediction than most experts, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which released its World Economic Outlook Report in September. While adjusting its global growth forecast downwards, the IMF still expects the global economy to grow at 4% in 2012.”

Joubert said professional’s confidence in the government’s ability to improve levels of unemployment over the next five years was also low – in fact “the worst result of all in this period, with a confidence level of just 29%, down 13% from the 42% recorded in the second quarter. This is a huge drop in confidence…….(and) a serious concern as the government has targeted job creation as a main priority going forward.”

For what it’s worth, the most positive aspect emerging from the survey was the fact that as many as eight out of 10 (or 81% of respondents to be precise) indicated they were not going anywhere.

Other results from the survey

Confidence in crime rates improving over the next five years increase to 45% from 43% in the second quarter

· Confidence in the standard of education in South Africa improving over the next five years rose to 48% from 47

· 89% of respondents said they were concerned about the rising cost of education compared with 84% previously

· Confidence about the opportunities available to practitioners working within their specific profession over the next 12 months declined to 73% from 74%

· Confidence in the protection that the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) offers their clients fell to 68% from 69% previously

· Confidence in the value that the CPA would add to their profession fell to 57% in the third quarter, from 60% in the second quarter



Joubert: “Overall confidence levels arising from the survey remained unchanged at 57% in the third quarter from the second; however, it is clear from these results that professionals have some very real concerns about their own and the wider financial situation; this will most likely be an overriding issue for the remainder of the year and well into 2012.”

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