Consumer confidence dives as bleak outlook hits households

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Cape Town - The harsh realities of weak household income growth, poor credit extension and soaring food prices during the festive season led to a dive in South African consumer levels, the FNB and Bureau of Economic Research (BER) Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) showed on Monday.

The index sagged to -10 in the fourth quarter of 2016, the fourth time in less than two years that the CCI has dropped to -10 or lower, after bouncing back from -11 in the second quarter of 2016 to -3 in the third quarter. Consumer sentiment has been consistently below the long-term average reading of 4 since the second half of 2014, FNB said in a statement.

The fourth-quarter slump in consumer sentiment followed setbacks in the two forward-looking sub-indices of the CCI, namely the expected performance of the SA economy in 12 months' time and the financial prospects of households in 12 months' time.

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