SA retail stocks volumes surge
Fin 24 - Jul 15th 2016, 10:52
Johannesburg - Trading volumes in South African retail stocks including Truworths and Woolworths jumped following indications that consumer spending is starting to recover.
Woolworths sales gained 12% in the year until June, excluding the impact of Australian acquisition David Jones, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement on Thursday. That was in line with the previous year even though clothing sales were hit by unseasonably warm winter weather, Woolworths said.
South African retail sales increased 4.5% in May from a year earlier, the strongest growth since January 2014, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said in a report on Wednesday.
More than 8.5 million Woolworths shares were traded jsut after lunch in Johannesburg, equivalent to 1.6 times the three-month daily average. About 2.8 million Truworths shares changed hands, 93% of the average, after 12.3 million the previous day, the most in at least a year.
“You’re seeing lower-than-expected inflation numbers, particularly on the food side,” said Alec Abraham, senior equity analyst at Sasfin Holdings.
With “the poor economic outlook, what you’re seeing is consumers coming under more and more pressure. Retailers are picking up on that and that’s why they’ve been trying very hard to keep prices lower.”
The forecast-beating retail sales was the latest indication that the 1.2% contraction in Africa’s most industrialised economy in the first three months of 2016 may have been a low point.
Manufacturing expanded by 4% in May, the best performance in 10 months, while the International Monetary Fund said last week it expected an improvement in the economy starting in the second quarter.From Fin24
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