The latest retail trade figures show that consumers are under financial stress as a result of rising inflation and interest rates. According to Statistics South Africa, retail trade sales declined by 1.6% year-on-year in April 2023 compared to April 2022.
The largest negative contributors to the decrease came from general dealers, retailers in food, beverages and tobacco in specialised stores, and all other retailers.
Analysts say there is no reprieve in sight as interest rates are expected to rise next month.
Senior Economist at FNB Bank, Sphamandla Mkhwanazi says, “Seasonally adjusted volumes which is important for the calculation of GDP increased by 0,4% month on month, following a decline of 0,6% in March now, this taken together with monthly mining and manufacturing data suggest a reasonable start to the second quarter GDP despite more intense load shedding and a few public holidays in the month of April, however longer terms trends suggest a waning consumer resilience with more hurdles in the horizon including the cumulative impact of past interest rate decisions.”