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Recent Releases



Business sentiment among civil contractors remained in the doldrums in 2019Q2. After falling to an all-time record low of 10 in 2019Q1, the FNB/BER Civil Confidence index edged a mere one point higher to 11 in 2019Q2.

The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) measured 52.1 index points in July, up from 46.2 in June. This is the first reading above the neutral 50-point mark since December 2018 with the improvement well supported by the underlying subcomponents.

The RMB/BER BCI flatlined at a worryingly low 28 in the second quarter. Sentiment improved in the building, retail and wholesale trade. Yet, improvements on balance were marginal and fully offset by a renewed sharp drop in the confidence of new vehicle dealers while the confidence of manufacturers slid even further. The latest survey results have dampened hopes of a strong bounce-back following the first quarter’s contraction in GDP.

After wilting during the first quarter of 2019, the FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) recovered slightly during 2019Q2. Following the shock implementation of stage 4 load shedding by Eskom during the first quarter, significantly fewer blackouts during the second quarter probably heartened some consumers. More importantly, the opportunity to vote in South Africa’s 6th democratic election since the end of apartheid most likely buoyed consumers’ hopes for the future. However, household budgets remain constrained by higher personal income taxes, sharp fuel and electricity price hikes and rising unemployment rates. All in all, we expect a further deterioration in real consumer spending growth during 2019.