Recession on the Horizon: Here’s How to Survive


With yet another return of loadshedding in August, and major banks upgrading their forecasts to reflect an increased possibility of further economic downturns, recession feels inevitable in South Africa. A recession is simply where an economy stops growing and starts retracting. A generally held definition of recession is when the Gross Domestic Product of a country declines for two consecutive quarters, or half a year. Apart from the shrinking GDP, recessions typically come with reduced employment opportunities and incomes, and a stalling in industrial productivity, all of which then impacts all other aspects of life from retail sales to reduced travel and entertainment. To be overly simplistic, when people are scared about their futures, they stop spending, which in turn means businesses, particularly those relying on consumer spending, stop making as much money and the economy has nowhere to go but down.

Businesses, already on the edge from years of pandemic, are preparing themselves to take yet another battering. Managing these economically turbulent times has become an ongoing challenge. Fortunately, though we have had numerous recessions before, and unlike the pandemic, economists are better able to predict the beginning, if not the length of recessions. We also have evidence for the things you can do to make sure these economic downturns don't close your business.

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