South Africa’s Retail Sales Decline

16 May 2012 16:30 - Mark Maffia

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South Africa’s Retail Sales Decline

Statistics South Africa has said South African retail sales declined in the first quarter of 2012 and retail sales growth was little changed in March. Sales rose 6.8% from a year earlier in comparison with a revised 6.7% increase in February. Although revenue rose 2.1% from a month earlier, it declined a seasonally adjusted 1.2% in the fourth quarter compared with the previous three months. Slower economic growth will reduce pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates this year to curb price increases. The statistics agency said the economy expanded 3.2% in the fourth quarter.

Elsewhere the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) released their quarterly review of business conditions which said that new vehicle sales grew in the first quarter of 2012, but at a slower rate than the same period last year. NAAMSA said, “All sectors registered significantly slower growth during the first quarter of 2012 compared to the corresponding quarter of 2011.” The report said in the first quarter of 2012, 110 719 new cars were sold which was an improvement of 10% on the first quarter of 2011. Over the same period, commercial vehicle sales increased by 0.8% to 46 024 units sold. NAAMSA expect domestic vehicle sales to continue to grow in 2012, but at a more subdued rate compared to the past two years. The report said, "Export sales are likely to remain under pressure in the short term and over the long term will remain a function of the performance and direction of global markets." NAAMSA estimated that the automotive industry contributed 6.8% to South Africa's gross domestic product in 2011.

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Related Links:
• Statistics South Africa
Retail trade sales, March 2012
• NAAMSA
Quarterly Review of Business Conditions
• Latest News
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