The surge in confidence following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s election is beginning to wear off. After leaping from 34 to 45 in the first quarter, the RMB/BER business confidence index (BCI) deteriorated to 39 in the second quarter of 2018. "This means that close to three-fifths of respondents now regard prevailing business conditions as unsatisfactory — a disappointing outcome, yet probably an accurate reflection of reality," RMB said on Wednesday. The second-quarter survey was conducted between May 7 and June 5, and included 1,700 business people in the building, manufacturing, retail, wholesale and new vehicle trade sectors.

In the first quarter, the huge leap confidence was attributed to the euphoria surrounding Ramaphosa’s election and the swift political change. However, confidence hasn’t filtered through to the real economy yet as seen by the weak economic performance in the first quarter. "We noted at the time that it would be unusual for confidence to be sustained aft...

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