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South Africa consumer confidence slips as growth concerns weigh

Reuters logo Reuters 2017-07-12

A shopper looks at items at a grocery store in Johannesburg, South Africa © REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko A shopper looks at items at a grocery store in Johannesburg, South Africa South Africa's consumer confidence slipped deeper into negative territory in the second quarter, highlighting households' concerns about the weak outlook for the economy, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The consumer confidence index, sponsored by First National Bank (FNB) and compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research, slumped to -9 in the second quarter after registering -5 in the first three months of the year.

"Despite the recent deceleration in food inflation, food prices remain very high and will continue to dampen the real purchasing power of consumers, especially for low income households," FNB senior economic analyst Jason Muscat said.

"Per capita real disposable income is set to deteriorate further on the back of exceedingly poor economic growth, little to no job creation, and substantial increases in personal income taxes for middle and high-income earners," he added.

South Africa sank into recession for the first time in eight years in the first quarter, hit by weakness in consumer sectors such as wholesale, retail and accommodation.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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