Retail sales posted their biggest jump since 2012, bolstered by Black Friday sales as cash-strapped consumers deferred purchases to November. Retail trade sales increased by a higher than expected 8.2% year on year in November 2017 (R94.67bn) after a 3.2% rise in October (R82.43bn). Strained consumers, waiting for Black Friday sales, bought clothing, shoes and furniture. In the past three years, November retail sales have jumped on average by 8.4% month on month, growing 10.1% in 2016, compared to an average of just 3.6% in the three years to November 2011. The figures signal significant buying during the Black Friday month, in the context of relatively lacklustre trading updates from many domestic retailers, said FNB senior economic analyst Jason Muscat. Black Friday has become an important event for retailers, driving sales in a weak consumer economy. But the streak was an anomaly, spiked by a singular event. Economists expected December sales to follow the same route but “definit...

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