A WEE DRAM
CHRIS GILMOUR: Improved retail sales numbers do not tell the whole story
For some months now the rather encouraging overall official retail sales figures have been at odds with the poor results coming from the listed retailers. I even thought that perhaps these official figures were being "doctored" somewhat. That horrific suspicion prompted further analysis to determine what is happening in this sector. In a consumer-dominated society such as SA, retail sales are an important directional indicator, as they account for about one-third of economic activity. Statistics SA’s October retail sales figures showed a positive 3.2% year-on-year trend. Although this was significantly lower than the consensus of 5.4% and September’s upwardly revised number of 5.7%, this is still very buoyant, considering the seriously depressed nature of the economy.