Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

SOUTH African companies estimate they have so far lost $15bn in revenue as a result of the eurozone crisis, which has wiped $2-trillion off revenue globally, Grant Thornton says in its latest international business report, released on Tuesday.

The European Union (EU) is South Africa’s major export partner and the current crisis has stunted manufacturing exports at a time when demand from other markets such as China is slowing amid global economic uncertainty.

South Africa’s economic growth has also stalled as a result of the combination of the recession in Europe, and low domestic production, particularly in the mining sector which has suffered a spate of violent strikes.

Economists estimate the economy will grow by just 2.5% in 2012, rising to 3% in 2013.

In its report, Grant Thornton said 40% of businesses globally believed the eurozone crisis had had a negative impact on their business.

"This is estimated to have wiped $2-trillion off revenue globally. Businesses in South Africa estimate that revenue has declined by $15bn as a result of the eurozone crisis," the report said.

"With the crisis still rumbling on, the research also highlights the long-term damage to the prospects of the EU as businesses consider doing less trade in the region in the future," it said.

The report said the impact of the eurozone crisis on business revenue had been severe, with more than half of those negatively affected (54%) saying their revenues had dropped by more than 3% as a result of the crisis, and 32% saying they had taken at least a 6% hit.

"In the US, the world’s largest economy, 11% of businesses say the crisis has caused their revenue to fall by 10% or more," the report said.