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Measuring the agribusiness decision environment: Constructing an agribusiness confidence index for South Africa

By Dirk Esterhuizen and C.J. van Rooyen


South African agribusinesses are experiencing far reaching changes. Economists have developed indicators, generally known as indexes, to measure relative change in the industry. In this article the methodology to construct a business confidence index for agribusiness in South Africa is discussed. The objective of such an index is to determine the business confidence of agribusinesses as accurately as possible. Some 80 agribusinesses in South Africa are at present participating in the AGRIBUSINESS CONFIDENCE INDEX. For the first quarter of 2002 the index points to a 20% improvement in the business confidence of South African agribusinesses compared to the same period the year before, while in the second quarter the index was up 14% on the previous year. This increase in confidence goes hand in hand with some other positive trends in the agricultural sector of South Africa regarding competitiveness and investment.Agribusiness,

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