Advertise with

Though lower than expected, September’s retail sales were high enough to help boost the third quarter’s GDP.
Though lower than expected, September’s retail sales were high enough to help boost the third quarter’s GDP.

Retail sales growth half that forecast by economists


By Sunita Menon - Nov 14th 2018, 14:09

Muted growth in the retail sector may be enough to help steer SA out of a recession. 

Despite headwinds to the consumer — including a VAT increase, weak household credit extension, depressed sentiment, and a mounting fuel-price burden — relatively benign inflation and interest rates helped growth in the sector.

September’s retail sales increased by a meagre 0.7% from the same month in 2017 — less than half the economists’ consensus of 1.9%, according to a poll by Bloomberg.

Statistics SA reported on Wednesday that furniture retailers recorded the best annual growth of 10.9% while hardware stores did worst with a 3.9% decline.

Following manufacturing and mining figures last week, the uptick in retail sales may help to save SA a recession when Statistics SA publishes its third-quarter GDP report next month. However, growth will likely remain low.

GDP contracted in the first and second quarters, placing the economy in recession for the first time in almost a decade. Economists define a recession as two consecutive quarters of GDP decline.

The three-months seasonally adjusted figure, used to calculate GDP, for September came to 1.5% compared to the previous quarter.

September’s total retail sales came to R84.6bn. In “constant prices” set to 2015, which Stats SA uses to strip inflation out of its sales growth figures, September’s retail sales amounted to R74.8bn.

General retailers enjoyed the biggest growth for the quarter, with sales rising 0.9% to R95.4bn in constant currency. Clothing retailers grew sales 2.8% to R36.6bn, and all other retailers grew sales 4.3% to R21.1bn.

Hardware, paint and glass suffered the biggest decline of 3.7% to R18.5bn.
Business Live 

Related News

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.