‘Weak growth in retail trade sales indicates financial strain consumers are under’

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Analysts say the weak growth in retail trade sales indicates the financial strain consumers with a low disposable income are under. Figures released by Statistics South Africa show a low 1.1% increase in retail trade sales in August 2019.

The main contributors to the marginal growth came from general dealers, retailers in household furniture, appliances and equipment.

An economist at NKC African Economics Elize Kruger says consumers are faced with tough times ahead.

“Specifically, I think that the job market remains strained, and wage increases have been moderating lately. It makes it more difficult to keep up with inflation. More people losing jobs, some people have to take a cut in salary – so all of that is putting more pressure on the disposable income of a household. And if we look at the fiscal scenario in South Africa, we will probably see, in the next round – in terms of the budget – we might see higher taxes again.”