Retail trade sales were in line with analysts’ expectations and are also seen as an indication of improved consumer confidence. Statistics South Africa says retail trade sale increased by 4.8 % year-on-year in March 2018.

The main contribution to the increase came from textile, footwear, clothing, general dealers and household furniture.

Economist at ABSA, Myelani Maluleke says while the number is up in March, it started off weak in the beginning of the year and may depress the GDP number in the first quarter of 2018.

“The March numbers I think were pretty much in line with expectation. So growth was up quite a bit to 4.8 % on a year-on-year basis from 4.4 % in February.  But I think what this actually leaves us with is a very clear picture that at the start of this year growth didn’t really start on a strong footing and there’s a really strong chance that we could see, when we get that first quarter GDP number, this could actually come out as a negative print.” Click below for more on the story: