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Consumer confidence has plummeted to the lowest level in 2018 after it surged to record highs after Cyril Ramaphosa took over the presidency at the beginning of the year. The consumer confidence index, compiled by FNB and the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University and released on Wednesday, fell from 22 in the second quarter to seven in the third quarter of the year. Confidence rose to a record high in the first quarter as Ramaphosa’s ascent to the presidency boosted business and investor sentiment and the rand. However, FNB chief economist Mamello Matikinca warned that “Ramaphoria has faded”.

The optimism in the first quarter did not translate into increased consumption in the economy, with retail sales remaining weak for much of the year. The index looks at consumer attitudes and expectations and is used to evaluate economic trends and prospects. Respondents are asked about the expected performance of the economy, the expected financial position of household...

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