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Is Ramaphosa ready to announce Level 2? What an economist would like him to say

12 August 2020 6:51 PM
Tags:
SA Economy
Cyril Ramaphosa
Alcohol ban
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
SA wine industry
Kevin Lings
stanlib
Lockdown
COVID-19
alcohol industry
level 2 lockdown

The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield interviews Kevin Lings, chief economist at Stanlib Asset Management.

How reliable are reports of a planned move from Level 3 to Level 2 lockdown, including the lifting of the tobacco and booze sale bans?

If President Cyril Ramaphosa does make an announcement this week, it's hoped it will include concrete steps to pull our economy back from the brink.

Bruce Whitfield interviews Stanlib chief economist Kevin Lings and gets his input on the existence of "a point of no return".

There is actually. You can start to create a self-reinforcing downward spiral where it becomes very, very difficult to stop that.

Kevin Lings, Chief economist - Stanlib Asset Management

Normally that occurs when a significant number of businesses fail, leading to a substantial increase in unemployment, then feeds back into the economy and you start to get more businesses fail because the unemployment rate is moving higher, they can't service their debt, so you start to have a financial crisis that goes with it.

Kevin Lings, Chief economist - Stanlib Asset Management

Lings says it's very easy to fall into that trap, especially when there's been a shock like the current pandemic.

We've had a massive shock so it's not just about understanding where we are in terms of lockdown rules... That's one debate and obviously the more we can ease the lockdown rules the better it is for the economy.

Kevin Lings, Chief economist - Stanlib Asset Management

But the bigger debate is, what is happening to the structure of our business sector? What's happening to underlying employment? What's happening to investment levels, maintenance of equipment, technology? All of those are much more critical because they speak to our ability to recover from this, ultimately.

Kevin Lings, Chief economist - Stanlib Asset Management

Why isn't there more urgency from government around this, he asks.

And if the president addresses the nation this week as is widely expected, Lings would like him to factor in the bigger picture.

Obviously you want him to deal with the lockdown restrictions and try and clarify that as much as possible... That is critical - it remains fairly opaque as to how these rules are going to proceed...

Kevin Lings, Chief economist - Stanlib Asset Management

... but you would also want the president to start to turn his attention to next year, to the October medium-term Budget, to the February Budget, to the infrastructure symposium that was held recently, to a lot of statements of intent...

Kevin Lings, Chief economist - Stanlib Asset Management

Listen to the conversation with Lings below:


12 August 2020 6:51 PM
Tags:
SA Economy
Cyril Ramaphosa
Alcohol ban
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
SA wine industry
Kevin Lings
stanlib
Lockdown
COVID-19
alcohol industry
level 2 lockdown

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