After 10 months of muted spending, retail sales increase on vaccine rollout hope

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Annual retail sales increased by 2.3% year-on-year in February, Statistics South Africa announced on Wednesday.

This is the first annual increase in ten months since April 2020, when retail sales plummeted to the largest decline on record at 50.4% lower than the same month in 2019.

February saw more retail activity as schools opened and the country received its first batch of vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and officially started the Sisonke vaccination programme.

January retail sales decreased 3.5% year-on-year.

Seasonally adjusted retail trade sales increased by 6.9% in February 2021 compared to January 2021. This followed month-on-month changes of -2.4% in January 2021 and -0.1% in December 2020.

The main and largest contributors to the y/y increase were retailers in household furniture, appliances and equipment, with a 17.3% increase; and retailers in textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods with 12.3% growth.

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