Consumer confidence remained at its 2018 low of 7 points in the fourth quarter of 2018. The consumer confidence index, compiled by FNB and the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University and released on Thursday, said: “Consumer sentiment settled at a much lower level during the second half of 2018 compared to the extraordinarily positive numbers booked at the height of Ramaphoria.”

This, however, is still above the long-run average reading for the CCI of 2 points and higher compared to the low levels recorded between 2015 and 2017. This suggests that that most consumers are fairly optimistic that the outlook for the South African economy and their own household finances will improve during the next 12 months, FNB said. The index plummeted to the lowest level for the year in the third quarter, after it surged to record highs when Cyril Ramaphosa took over the presidency at the beginning of 2018 Consumers were hard hit by the first VAT hike in almost two decades, th...

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