Johannesburg – The Gauteng economy is still growing but
could fall upon more trying times later this year as consumers begin to feel
The February Sake24 and BoE Private Clients Gauteng
Barometer lifted 0.5% and is currently 10.1% up on a year ago.
"The consumer is till driving everything in
Gauteng," said the barometer's compiler, Mike Schüssler of
In February the barometer trade index was a seasonally
adjusted 10% up on the previous year.
This index is made up of the latest available figures for
vehicle, petrol, retail and wholesale sales.
The three-month moving average for petrol sales was 3.5%
down in January owing to petrol price hikes.
Retail and wholesale grew at a slower rate in January.
Retail sales were 4.4% up year-on-year (y/y) and wholesale sales 1.1% better.
"Consumers are still spending, but we will have to wait
and see the effects of rises in the petrol price, higher electricity tariffs
and the toll roads."
Schüssler said the Gauteng barometer looks better especially
because economic stress has declined in the province.
The February stress index was 4.4% down y/y, thanks to the
official February unemployment rate in Gauteng which was down to 23.3% from
24.2% in January. Inflation in Gauteng in February was unchanged at 6%.
Manufacturing sector disappoints
Schüssler said the performance of Gauteng's manufacturing sector was slightly
"I'm still not worried that things will turn into a
recession, but I think the sector is suffering from high electricity prices and
is struggling to compete globally."
The barometer's February manufacturing index was 2.5% up on
a year ago.
The thee-month moving average for electricity consumption in
Gauteng in January declined by 2% following a 1.3% drop in December.
The February index for storage, transport and communications
was 18.1% up on the previous year and this gave the Gauteng economy a big boost.
This index is compiled from data on air and land transport
in Gauteng, as well as the number of cellphone and landline calls made by the
Schüssler said the big surprise was that the construction
index began to show some recovery. In February the index was still 5.6% down on
the previous year, but had begun to improve over the previous three months.
Schüssler said although the construction sector is still not
growing, it has started to recover.
"Speculators have not returned to the property market,
but builders have and this is helping the construction sector."
But Schüssler said the mining sector's performance remains
disappointing. The barometer's February mining index was 8.5% down y/y.
Schüssler said Gauteng's economy will probably start to
labour during the winter months when higher electricity prices in particular
"We are still experiencing good times, but harsher
times lie ahead."
For business news in Afrikaans, go to Sake24.com.
For more news on the Sake24/BoE Private Clients barometers,
go to www.fin24.com/barometer.