Consumer mood sours
CONSUMER confidence in South Africa's prospects declined from five index points to minus three in the second quarter of this year.
This was revealed in the latest FNB-BER Consumer Confidence Index (CCI).
Consumers' rating of the prospects for the national economy, the outlook for their own finances and the appropriateness of the present time to buy durable goods all deteriorated in this year's second quarter.
FNB chief economist Cees Bruggemans said consumer confidence was currently at its lowest level since absorbing the serial shocks of early 2008.
"Coupled with a deterioration in the outlook for household income growth, the decline in consumer confidence foreshadows a substantial slowdown in the growth in household consumption expenditure during the remainder of this year," Bruggemans said.
The CCI has been edging lower since reaching a peak of 15 index points in the third quarter of 2010, around the time of the Soccer World Cup.
Last year the CCI shed nine index points to end the year at five, and during the second quarter of this year the CCI fell by another eight index points.
"Given that the average reading for the CCI since 1994 is six index points, the latest reading of minus three index points suggests that consumer confidence is currently low and not supportive of consumer spending," he said.
Bruggemans added: "Not even at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008 were consumers as downbeat about the country's economic prospects as they are now."