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March retail trade sales up by 4.8%

May 17 2018 07:41
Ntaoleng Lechela

Johannesburg – Statistics South Africa on Wednesday announced a 4.8% year-on-year (y/y) increase in retail trade sales in March 2018.

The main sectors contributing to the increase were retailers in textiles, which contributed 1.6 percentage points, general dealers with 1.1 percentage points, and retailers in household furniture, appliances and equipment, which contributed 0.9 percentage points.

Retail trade sales were measured in real terms which were constant to 2015 prices.

Household furniture, appliances and equipment contributed the highest annual growth rates for retailers at 20.7%, followed by textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods as well as pharmaceutical and medical goods, cosmetics and toiletries at 10.6% and 7.9% respectively.

Compared to the first quarter in 2017, first-quarter retail trade sales in 2018 increased by 4.1%.

However, the seasonally adjusted retail trade sales did not change month-on-month (m/m) in March 2018. In February a m/m change of 1.5% was recorded and a change of -1.4% was recorded in January 2018.

Stefan Salzer, Partner & Managing Director at Boston Consulting Group, said South Africa's retail sector was "very well-developed" compared to the rest of the continent. This was despite lacklustre business confidence, political uncertainty ahead of the ANC electoral conference, and high unemployment.

Salzer added that both the the latest Retail Trade Sales, announced by the Reserve Bank, and the StatsSA report - which revealed R1 trillion in sales over the course of 2017 - evidenced a "positive consumer mindset".

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stats sa  |  trade  |  sa economy  |  sales
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