The South African business community is gloomier in the quarter under way than it was in the previous one, according to a poll sponsored by RMB and done by Stellenbosch University's Bureau of Economic Research. The RMB/BER quarterly business confidence index fell to 31 points during the fourth quarter of 2018 from 34 points in the third quarter.

Seven out of every 10 respondents remained unhappy with prevailing business conditions, while confidence continued to track below the neutral 50 mark in all the sectors. The survey was completed shortly before the Reserve Bank raised its repo rate 25 basis points to 6.75% and cabinet reshuffle which both occurred on November 22. New vehicle dealers were the most pessimistic of the five sectors covered. Business confidence among new vehicle dealers plunged to 15 points in the fourth quarter from 22 in the third. "If it wasn’t for the unusually large drop in new vehicle dealer confidence, the RMB/BER business confidence index would have ...

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