The median forecast of over 30 currency strategists polled Nov. 30-Dec. 5 suggested the rand ZAR=D3 will have fallen about 3 percent in six months to 14.33 against the dollar, better than the 14.67 expected last month.
The currency has made over 10 percent gains in the last two months due to better sentiment for emerging markets. That pinned hopes last month the currency had room to gain by a further two percent by this time next year.
This is despite the economy expanding 2.2 percent in the third quarter, snapping out of recession after a revised 0.4 percent contraction the previous quarter.
Africa’s second biggest and most industrialized economy is expected to grow 1.5 percent next year, far from being enough to solve a chronically high jobless rate of 27.5 percent of the labor force.
The Fed has raised interest rates eight times since it began a tightening cycle in December 2015, including three times so far this year. It is widely expected to raise rates again in December.
Other challenges the country faces is an ongoing tussle between the world’s two biggest economies – China and the United States – likely disturbing trade, while at home massive unemployment, social inequality and land reforms will weigh.