Retail sales defy expectations of an improvement
bdlive.co.za - Oct 19th 2016, 15:36
Retail sales growth slowed further in August, deepening the disappointing slowdown reported for July.
Retail sales grew just 0.2% in August compared with a year earlier, Statistics SA said on Wednesday, after the 0.8% increase that was reported last month for July.
That was much slower than economists had expected. The Trading Economics forecast was for year-on-year growth of 1.4%, while the Bloomberg consensus was less optimistic, at 0.6% growth.
The retail sector has experienced a long period of tough trading conditions, with consumers’ ability to spend constrained by high levels of household debt and a tighter lending environment.
Rising inflation has also been a factor — especially rising food prices after the worst drought in SA for decades. Data released earlier on Wednesday showed inflation as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) accelerated to 6.1% in September, breaching the Reserve Bank’s 3%-6% target.
Compared with a month earlier, retail sales grew 0.3%, Stats SA said on Wednesday, while for the three months to August they were 0.9% higher than the year-earlier three-month period.From DFM Publishers (Pty) Ltd.
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