South African consumer confidence slumped to a 10-year low in the third quarter as strikes hit the manufacturing and mining industries and gasoline costs soared to a record.
The FNB/RMB index dropped 9 points to minus 8 as sentiment across all income groups fell, Johannesburg-based First National Bank (FSR) and the Bureau for Economic Research said in a e-mailed statement today. The index climbed 8 points in the second quarter as inflation stabilized and fears of power outages failed to materialize.
“The consumer confidence index is presently at an even more depressed level compared to the low of minus 4 registered during the height of the 2008 global financial crisis,” FNB said. The latest index number implies that confidence is “not supportive of strong growth in consumer spending.”
Thousands of workers in the construction and car-manufacturing industries downed tools in wage disputes in August, followed by strikes by gas-pump attendants and workers at auto-component dealers in September. Stoppages this year at gold and platinum mines in Africa’s biggest economy have already shaved 0.3 percentage point off economic growth, President Jacob Zuma said in June.
Read more at bloomberg.com