South Africa's business confidence improved in April, after hitting a seven-year low in March, a report by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry said Tuesday.

The business confidence index moved up to 81.9 in April from a low level of 78.9 in March.

The Chamber said an improvement in the rand exchange rate, import and export volumes among other factors caused a slight increase in confidence, but that did not necessarily mean a recovery.

The improvement in the BCI for April 2009 could mark a turnaround that may still be slow and weak, but which could pick up momentum towards year-end as the global economy revives, the SACCI said.

Meanwhile, the report said South Africa's economic growth was revised to a decline, as the recession continued, prompted by weakness in the country's major trading partners in Europe and the USA as also slower growth in the South East Asian countries.

At the same time, the SACCI said the lower but positive growth in Asia would to some degree counter the extent and duration of the contraction in the country and sustain reasonable commodity prices as well as commodity exports from South Africa.

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