June’s retail growth just a third of that expected, raising recession risk
By Sunita Menon - Aug 16th 2018, 09:26
June’s retail sales growth was only a third of what economists expected, raising the risk that SA entered a technical recession in the second quarter.
Statistics SA reported that retail sales in June were 0.7% higher than in the same month in 2017. The economists’ consensus was retail sales growth would remain at about May’s 1.9%.
The three-month seasonally adjusted average for June, which will be used to calculate the retail sector’s contribution to second-quarter GDP, was negative 0.4%.
SA suffered a 2.2% contraction of GDP in the first quarter, and pieces of the second quarter GDP published so far have raised the fear of two consecutive quarters of contraction.
In current prices, June’s total retail sales came to R81.7bn, down from R84.7bn in May, but higher than R79.4bn in June 2017.
Stats SA uses constant prices set to 2015 to strip inflation out of its figures. In these constant prices, June’s total came to R72.2bn, down from R75bn in May and slightly higher than R71.7bn in June 2017.
The highest annual growth rates were recorded for household furniture, appliances and equipment at 11.5%; followed by all "other" retailers at 7.6%; and pharmacies at 5.3%.
"Although consumer sentiment has improved markedly, reiterated by the still elevated consumer confidence reading released for the second quarter, the consumer continues to face challenges, weighed down by lacklustre household credit growth, increased consumer taxes, surging fuel prices and rising unemployment," said Investec economist Lara Hodes.
FNB chief economist Mamello Matikinca said she was concerned given the large increase in June 2017, which creates a high base from which to grow in June 2018.
Load shedding threatens jobs, economic recovery, says consumer body
22/03/2019 - 13:31
Load shedding, which has been escalated to Stage 4, is posing a significant risk to economic recovery, the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa said in a statement, as rotational blackouts continued to grip the country.
Pick n Pay introduces blood oranges to its fresh produce offering
22/03/2019 - 10:19
Fruit lovers no longer have to travel to Europe to taste the goodness of blood oranges. Pick n Pay has added rare blood oranges to its fresh produce offering making it the first retailer to offer this unique fruit to customers.
Instagram adds shopping feature for US users
22/03/2019 - 09:34
Facebook’s Instagram is trialling a feature that lets US users shop from the photo-sharing app by using a “checkout” option on items tagged for sale, the company said.
Retail sales recover in January after dismal December figures
22/03/2019 - 09:23
Retail spending showed signs of recovery in January, growing 1.2% on an annualised basis, slightly faster than analysts had expected.
SA beef export market reopens to the Middle East
22/03/2019 - 08:23
The recently held Gulfood Trade Show 2019, which took place at the Dubai World Trade Centre, saw the reopening of beef trade between South Africa and the Middle East.