South Africa consumer confidence improves in third quarter

Sept 8 (Reuters) – South Africa’s consumer confidence improved in the third quarter, a survey showed on Thursday, but consumer sentiment remained “extremely depressed” amid rising inflationary pressures.

The consumer confidence index (CCI), sponsored by First National Bank (FNB) and compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research (BER), rose to minus 20 points from minus 25 points in the second quarter.

Factors ranging from the impact of COVID-19-related restrictions to soaring prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have hit buyer sentiment and curbed spending across the globe.

“The confidence levels of less affluent households recovered smartly during the third quarter of 2022, despite further sharp increases in food and transport costs,” said FNB Chief Economist Mamello Matikinca-Ngwenya.

A revival of the services sector and the last remaining savings accumulated by affluent consumers should buffer household expenditure to some extent, the survey said.

The confidence levels of high and middle-income households remained low, while levels among the low-income households rebounded well, the survey of about 500 respondents showed.

(Reporting by Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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