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earningsThe Citizen reports that the average take-home pay, measured in the BankservAfrica Take-home Pay Index (BTPI), fell marginally in March due to factors that placed financial constraints on companies and pressure on salaries.

The weak Rand and higher fuel prices contributed to the strain in the economy during March. “The average real take-home pay, adjusted for inflation, tracked lower at R14,236 in March and slightly below levels a year ago. In nominal terms, the average salary moderated slightly to reach R16,043, still 5.0% up on a year ago and 3.6% up on December’s R15,484,” BankservAfrica’s Shergeran Naidoo reported. A comparison of the average nominal BTPI in the first quarter of 2024 to the corresponding quarter in 2023 shows an increase of 6.2%. According to independent economist Elize Kruger, if this continues, 2024 could be a better year for salaries as the business environment is expected to improve somewhat, unlike the previous two years, when companies struggled to pay inflation-related increases due to the ongoing economic challenges. She added: “Although mediocre economic growth of 1.1% is forecast for 2024, it is somewhat better than the 0.6% in 2023. The improved outlook hinges on the assumption of reduced load shedding, a moderation in average inflation and a start to the interest rate-cutting cycle.” Year to date, BankservAfrica data signals alignment with the SA Reserve Bank’s forecast of an average salary increase of 6.1% for 2024. Kruger drew attention to a trend developed recently, especially in the mining industry, where companies have entered into longer-term wage agreements, mostly with above-inflation outcomes for salary earners. “With the average headline inflation forecast to moderate to 5.3% in 2024 and 4.8% in 2025, workers locked into these agreements will receive considerable real increases if lower inflation outcomes do realise,” she noted.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ina Opperman at The Citizen

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