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An analysis of share prices and economic activity in South Africa: an NARDL approach.

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An integral component of economic activity rests on the performance of share prices as it influences consumer and business confidence which in turn affects the performance of the overall economy. The progressive characteristics of share prices and its successive role as an indicator of economic growth has been widely documented in advanced and developing economies such as South Africa but with evidence allowing for nonlinearity and asymmetric movements, being less predominant. The key objective of this thesis is to re-examine an existing issue by using a more complex method of analysis to determine whether fluctuations in the stock market influence the economic growth in South Africa. This study assesses share price fluctuations and its impact on economic growth, with the aim of identifying the nonlinearity and asymmetric effects in the relationship by taking into consideration a primary and sectoral analysis, within a South African context. As such, this study utilised various different methodological techniques that established cointegration; identified the existence of structural breaks; detected long and short-run relationships and determined the effects of nonlinearity and asymmetric adjustments between the stock market and economic activity, covering the period of 1999 to 2019. It was established that the relationship between economic growth and stock prices exhibit evidence of structural breaks. Furthermore, it was concluded that there is a strong link between the stock market and economic activity with the 2007/2008 global financial crisis. Most importantly, this thesis intended to determine the nonlinearity and asymmetric impacts that stock market fluctuations have on economic activity in South Africa. It was exhibited that there is evidence of strong nonlinear cointegration in the relationship. Additionally, there is a strong presence of nonlinearity and asymmetric adjustment in the relationship between stock market fluctuations and economic activity. Therefore, this study concluded that there is strong evidence of nonlinearity and asymmetric adjustment in the cointegrating relationship and depicted that economic growth is sensitive to stock market fluctuations in South Africa, which represents a novel contribution to the literature.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.