The fourth quarter reading was also 7 points higher than in the third quarter of 2019.
While higher, the current index level still meant that a vast majority (close to 80 percent) of respondents are 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.
According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), the real value of expenditure on construction works contracted by 0.4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019, but he expects the FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index pointed toward an improvement in the fourth quarter.
“While activity was up, other indices – specifically those measuring tendering competition and the availability of new work – weighed on confidence,” he said.