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South Africa Consumer Mood Subdued Despite Partial Recovery

  • Fourth-quarter consumer confidence index rose to -12 from -23
  • Confidence among high-income households rebounds least
Shoppers at a supermarket in Johannesburg. 

Shoppers at a supermarket in Johannesburg. 

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

South African consumer confidence remained subdued in fourth quarter even after a partial recovery as the easing of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic allowed more people to get back to work.

A quarterly index measuring sentiment rose to -12 from -23 in the three months through September, FirstRand Ltd.’s First National Bank said in an emailed statement Monday. Despite the improvement, festive season sentiment is at the weakest since 2015, and is below the average consumer confidence reading of 2 since 1994.