SOUTH AFRICAN RETAIL SALES GREW 4.1 PCT IN FEBRUARY

JOHANNESBURG, April 14 Retail sales figures grew stronger than market expectations in February with Statistics South Africa reporting Wednesday that they grew by 4.1 per cent with the main contributors being general dealers.

Consumers are facing steep challenges. The cost of living is growing, wiping off disposable income. Weak economic growth, high inflation, increasing costs of fuel, electricity and food are putting consumers under pressure.

Jeeten Narotam, who owns a clothing store in Johannesburg selling imported clothes, says the weak rand is hurting business.

“Things are becoming slightly harder due to the weak rand. Customers are sceptical in buying hoping prices will go down …. I don’t see the rand strengthening anytime soon.”

Economists expect retail sales figures to remain volatile in the short term. Going forward, general conditions are not supportive of conditions being sustained in the coming months.

Clothing, footwear and pharmaceutical products contributed to February’s higher sales figures.

SOURCE: SABC