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Consumer spending growth in South Africa steadied in 2023

Consumer spending growth in South Africa steadied in 2023

CONSUMERS spending growth in South Africa steadied in 2023 after the previous year's post-pandemic surge, but expected interest rate cuts will encourage more purchases in 2024, executives from Visa and Discovery Bank said. Recent retail results show that consumers are under financial pressure as high interest rates increase the cost of debt and inflation pushes food prices higher. Releasing their latest SpendTrend24 report, Discovery's banking unit and Visa said that while consumer spending in South Africa outpaced inflation by 19 percentage points in 2022, the two measures were closely matched last year. Spending on food, including groceries, takeout and dining out, increased in most…
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Egypt’s Sisi visits Saudi Arabia amid financial pressure, regional realignment

Egypt’s Sisi visits Saudi Arabia amid financial pressure, regional realignment

EGYPTIAN President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited Saudi Arabia on Sunday, Saudi state news agency SPA said, as Cairo seeks financial inflows to ease pressure on its currency and bolster a faltering economy. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has long provided financial support to Egypt but recently signalled it would no longer provide such backing without conditions attached, which observers think may have sparked a rare media clash between the two countries. The trip also comes amid a major diplomatic realignment in the region, with moves by Saudi Arabia and Egypt to ease tensions with Syria, Iran and Turkey. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler, met…
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Libya’s Haftar says he will lift oil blockade, with conditions

Libya’s Haftar says he will lift oil blockade, with conditions

EASTERN Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar announced on Friday he would lift for one month his blockade of oil output and said he had agreed with the rival Tripoli government on "fair distribution" of energy revenue. A resumption of oil exports after the eight-month blockade would relieve mounting financial pressure for both sides in the Libyan conflict and could remove a major obstacle towards a political settlement, but it is not yet clear if the declared agreement has wider support. "We are ready to open oil fields, to secure the future of Libya, for one month," Haftar said in a statement…
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