Another uptick for retail sales in February - by more than expected

Retail sales in February 2019 increased by 1.1%, against expectations that growth would be less than 1%.

This is compared to 1.2% reported in January 2019. 

According to data released by Stats SA on Wednesday, the main contributors to the 1.1% increase in February came from textile, clothing, footwear and leather goods retailers as well as general dealers.

Stats SA said retail trade sales had showed no growth for the three months since December 2018, compared to the same period the previous year.

The largest growth rates for February 2019 were recorded in household furniture and appliances, reporting growth of 7.4%; and textiles and clothing, reporting growth of 4.4%.

Market analysts had expected retail sales growth to come in at under 1%. Specifically, economists Mpho Tsebe and Elena Ilkova of RMB Global markets Research had expected the retail sales figure to be 0.6%, while analysts from NKC Economics expected the figure to be 0.7%.

NKC had attributed its lower projection to the many headwinds consumers faced, including load shedding.


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