The average South African after-tax salary was R14,121 in February, which was 5.7% higher than in the same month in 2015, according to the monthly BankservAfrica Disposable Salary Index (BDSI). But this failed to keep up with inflation, measured at 6.3% in February. In real terms, salary earners were 0.8% poorer than a year ago, marking the ninth month of salary declines once inflation is accounted for. "On the positive side, this was the smallest decline in months," BankservAfrica head of information services Caroline Belrose said. With 12 out of the last 15 months in the BDSI time series indicating take-home pay declines in real terms, this is now taking a toll on retail sales where the same level of declines are being experienced as car and home sales. "Consumer spending has been slow over the last year and is likely to remain so in the coming month or two," economists.co.za chief economist Mike Schüssler said. "The possibility of higher real salary increases in the formal sector...

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