ATM withdrawals stagnant in February

By Drum Digital
11 March 2013

Withdrawals from ATMs across the country remained stagnant in February, increasing only 0.69 percent from January, Spark ATM Systems said on Monday.

This followed a 9.18 percent drop in January, with the average cash withdrawal in February being R443.56, sales director Russel Berman said in a statement. The company installs and maintains ATMs.

"While it is encouraging to note a positive increase following the drastic drop in January 2013, we were hoping for a bigger bounce back, especially if we assume that the economy is in the first stage of an up-cycle," he said.

This was an indication that consumers were still under financial pressure following spending over the festive season.

A notable month-on-month increase should be expected for March with the Easter holiday season approaching, where many consumers spent more on entertainment and travel during the school holidays.

Ronel Oberholzer, principal economist at IHS Global Insights, said while withdrawals were up 7.71 percent in comparison to February last year, this did not necessarily show consumers were better off this year.

Berman said consumers were cashing in on post-festive season specials.

"The growth in ATM activity noted at wholesale and retail sites is directly related to the boost in spending at these locations as consumers are drawn to post festive season offers," he said.

-by Sapa

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