Second Half-Year (H2) Period 2021

Grant Thornton’s business pulse is the first index to track the health of mid-sized companies at a global, regional, country and sector level.

Developed in partnership with Oxford Economics, this index is calculated every six months and draw on the world’s largest and longest-running research study into the mid-market, which interviews around 10,000 mid-market business leaders across 29 economies annually.

The index provides a complete view of mid-market health and prospects at a global, regional, sector and country level, while sub-indices provide a view of several dimensions that contribute towards this health.

Participating companies have between 50-500 employees and target respondents are chief executive officers, managing directors, chairmen or other senior decision-makers.

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Our message to you

  • Our message to you

    “Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, global economies have seen improvement over 2021. The World Bank estimates that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew in 2021 to 5,7% compared to the dismal -3% in 2020. Similarly, South Africa is estimated to have seen marginal gains of 4,6% from -6,4%. There has been a slight upturn in the economy, but we’re not out of the clear yet. 2022 GDP forecasts show a gloomy retraction of this to 4,4% for the world and 2,1% for South Africa.”

    Victor Sekese, SNG Grant Thornton Chief Executive

The Index

The South African index fell back into negative territory after experiencing only one period of positivity since the onset of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in H1 2020. This setback was driven by a combination of optimism, conditions and investment all weakening which ultimately dragged down the outlook and overall health of the index.

South African outlook and restrictions

Mid-market businesses do a 180-degree turn in the opposite direction showing a lack of confidence and sustained barriers to growth.


The Journey Ahead

  • The Journey Ahead

    ''The increasingly competitive landscape for the recruitment and retention of talented employees has significantly accelerated the war for talent over the past two years through the entrance of disruptors in the traditional hunting grounds of the talent acquisition teams. The COVID 19 pandemic provided a fertile ground for employees to intertwine their inspirational goals and aspirational goals of achieving flexible global mobility on international engagements whilst comfortably entrenched in their home countries. The key to solving the crisis lies in the timeless principles of developing and retaining highly talented people.''

    Neridha Moodley, Head of People and Culture