Retail sales continued to improve in September
Economists had expected improved retail sales, due to the effects of eased Covid-19 restrictions during the month
SA’s retail sales showed continued recovery in September, the first full month in which South Africans were free to to travel to other provinces, smoke, and buy alcohol.
Retail sales rose 1.1% month on month in September, but declined 2.7% year on year, though this is an improvement from a revised 4.1% annual decline seen in August.
September is also the last month of the third quarter, with Stats SA saying on Wednesday that the retail sector made a positive contribution to SA’s economy during the third quarter, rising a seasonally adjusted 23.9% when compared to the second.
The sector has shown a steady recovery from the nearly 50% decline during April under level 5 lockdown restrictions, when only essential items could be purchased.
SA moved to a level 2 lockdown on August 18, allowing alcohol sales and travel, while restrictions were further lifted as the country moved to level 1 on September 20.
FNB economists said the extension of the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters), and the extension of the government’s special relief grants, would further mitigate the effects of a weak labour market in the month.
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