Consumer confidence improves in fourth quarter.

SOUTH African consumers regained some confidence in the economy in the fourth quarter, a survey showed on Monday, as the country further eased restrictions and reopened its borders and businesses after the lockdown.

The consumer confidence index (CCI), sponsored by First National Bank (FNB) and compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research (BER), edged up to minus 12 points from minus 23 points in the third quarter.

“The further easing of restrictions and concomitant uptick in economic activity greatly benefit low-income households,” FNB Chief Economist Mamello Matikinca-Ngwenya said in a statement.

The time-to-buy durable goods index recovered further in the fourth quarter, but the vast majority of consumers across all income groups still consider the present time as highly inappropriate to purchase big-ticket items, Matikinca-Ngwenya said.

Last week, the South African health minister said the country had officially entered a second wave of the new coronavirus as the number of infections per day exceeded 6,000, raising concerns that restrictions could be tightened to limit the spread.

(SOURCE: Reuters)

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