SA’s retail sector saw an increase in sales in April despite the recession‚ signalling the second quarter may be stronger on the consumer side.
According to Statistics SA‚ retail trade sales increased by 1.5% to R60.6-billion in April 2017. Last month‚ retail trade sales marginally increased by 0.8%.
The retail sector is an important indicator of consumer spending which drives growth in the economy.
After the lower-than-expected mining and manufacturing production numbers last week that suggested that the economic activity remained weak at the start of the second quarter‚ the retail sales figures for April indicate that the consumer side of the economy fared better.
The highest annual growth rates were recorded for retailers in food‚ beverages and tobacco in specialised stores which was up by 13.6%‚ general dealers which increased by 5.1% and pharmaceuticals and medical goods‚ cosmetics and toiletries which climbed by 2.7%.
Seasonally adjusted retail trade sales also increased by 0.3% month on month in April 2017.
In the three months ended April 2017 compared to the same period the year before‚ retail trade sales increased by 0‚3%.