Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The "Ramaphosa rally" did not just perk up the rand, but caused CEO confidence to jump from a pessimistic 38.4 points in the fourth quarter of 2017 to an optimistic 60 points in the first quarter of 2018.

A quarterly poll of CEOs done by Merchantec Capital found that South African business leaders had cheered up to a level last seen six years ago in 2012.

Financial sector CEOs showed the biggest jump in confidence, perking up to 69 points from 41.82.

Of the six industries Merchantec splits its CEO confidence index into, basic materials CEOs were the only ones to get more gloomy, with their index falling to 45.83 from 47.14 points.

Technology CEOs remained just under the pessimistic side of 50 points, with their index growing to 49.77 from 39.11 points.

Consumer goods CEOs were the second most optimistic after financial sector CEOs, cheering up to 61.11 from 46.52 points.

Consumer services CEO confidence rose to 61.11 from 46.52, and industrial CEO confidence rose to 59.27 from 39.16 points.