JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s retail sales grew below expectations by 2.7% year-on-year in September after expanding by a revised 4% in August, the government’s statistics agency said on Wednesday.
On a month-on-month basis, sales were down 1.9%, and rose by 3.3% in the three months to September compared with the same period last year, Statistics South Africa said.
The consensus for September retail sales growth was 4.1%, according to a Reuters poll.
In a comment released on Wednesday afternoon, Nedbank’s Economic Unit said: “Household’s financial conditions are unlikely to improve significantly in the short term given the current unfavourable economic conditions. Therefore, consumers will remain cautious of spending on non-essential items, which will keep retail sales growth subdued.”
The South African Reserve Bank’s (Sarb’s) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is to announce its interest rate decision on Thursday. Nedbank expects the MPC to raise interest rates by another 25 basis points “as worries over the upside risks to the inflation outlook probably intensified.”