South Africa Retail Sales Growth Quickens to 2.8% in July

South African retail sales growth accelerated a less-than-estimated 2.8 percent in July, the statistics office said.

Sales growth compared a revised 1.4 percent expansion in June, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said on its website today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 14 economists was for growth of 3.9 percent. Sales fell 0.5 percent in the month.

Consumer spending has come under pressure this year as the economy shed jobs and inflation accelerated. The Reserve Bank has lowered its economic growth forecast for this year to 2 percent, which would be the slowest pace since a 2009 recession.

Policy makers will probably keep the benchmark repurchase rate at 5 percent tomorrow to help support the economy, according to all 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The central bank assesses “the risk to the growth outlook to be on the downside in the light of the further delays in overcoming the electricity supply constraints, relatively weak business and consumer confidence levels and possible labor market developments,” Deputy Governor Francois Groepe said on Aug. 15.

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