CAPE TOWN – The FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index reached its highest level in the fourth quarter since the second quarter of 2017 due to increased activity in the renewable energy and road construction sectors.
FNB senior economist Siphamandla Mkhwanazi yesterday said that sentiment rose to 22 in the fourth quarter.
Mkhwanazi said the upswing was the first above 20 since the second quarter of 2017. The fourth quarter reading was also 7 points higher than in the third quarter of 2019.
While higher, the current index level still meant however that a vast majority (close to 80 percent) of respondents were dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions. Confidence had improved mainly due to a second consecutive uptick in activity.
“Respondents already reported a noticeable increase in activity during the third quarter. A further, and also noticeable, improvement was registered this quarter. In fact, the index measuring activity is now close to its long-term average,” said Mkhwanazi.