November retail sales slide further

Growth in retail sales fell further in November, Statistics South Africa said on Wednesday, indicating continued strain in consumption activity.

For November 2008 retail sales decreased by 4% compared with November 2007, the Pretoria-based agency added.

In August and September, growth in annual retail sales declined by 5,6% year-on-year and was followed by a revised 2,2% year-on-year decline in October.

The figure for November was expected and confirmed economists’ views that the retail sector was clearly in recession.

According to Standard Bank economist Johan Botha, this was the seventh consecutive month of declining sales.

”The outlook for the sector remains poor over the short to medium term given the generally weak economic and financial environment,” Botha said.

He added that while December data might brighten the picture somewhat, it was ”unlikely to signal a reversal in fortunes for the sector”.

Retail sales would remain under pressure ”until such time that underlying drivers, such as disposable income, inflation and interest rates improve”.

Botha said this might only happen towards the middle of the year.

November’s figure also justified the South African Reserve Bank’s rate cut in December of 50 basis points and made a case for another rate cut at the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting next month. — Sapa

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Court invalidates Mkhwebane’s report on Ivan Pillay

It is the third report pertaining to Pillay that has been set aside by the high court

Rape is endemic in South Africa. Why the ANC government...

South Africa has one of the highest rape statistics in the world, even higher than some countries at war

Human rights without handicaps: young, black, gay wheelchair user goes...

South African activist Eddie Ndopu is in line to be the next UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

I still reap the rewards of my mother’s prayers

So many strong black women are marginalised and forgotten — and their roles seen as expected and natural

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…