Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

S. African Retail Sales Expand as Consumers Borrow More

April 17 (Bloomberg) -- South African retail sales growth accelerated for the first time in three months in February as consumer borrowing and spending rose.

Sales rose 3.8 percent from a year earlier, up from a revised 2.2 percent in January, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said on its website today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 11 economists was 1.8 percent. Sales increased 2.7 percent in the month.

“The rate at which households are going into new debt remains strong, growing by just less than 10 percent” in February, Mark Fennell, an analyst at Tradition Group in London, said in an e-mailed note to clients before the data was released. “The credit environment indicates there is still positive monetary space to boost retail sales.”

The central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 5 percent last month, the lowest level in more than 30 years, to support consumer spending even as a weaker rand fueled import costs. The inflation rate was unchanged at 5.9 percent in March, the statistics agency said in a separate report today.

Consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of expenditure in the economy, may moderate after confidence slumped to a nine-year low in the first quarter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Cohen in Cape Town at mcohen21@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.