CHRIS GILMOUR: Retail sales outlook is poor in a country with few cushions
Shopping activity plummeted during SA’s severe lockdown and has not recovered nearly as much as in the US and UK
It’s a very grim read for the April and May SA retail sales figures. Not only is sales growth still deep in negative territory, it is also lagging in international terms. And with the average consumer’s disposable income taking a big knock in June, another year-on-year decline for that month appears inevitable.
Stats SA didn’t release its April retail sales figures in June, as would usually be the case. Instead, it incorporated them into a double volume in July, when both April and May figures were released. Also, many figures from March were extensively reworked, but this made little or no difference to the final trend. The bleak result is that total April retail sales declined by 50% year on year, bouncing back to a decline of 12% year on year in May.