Johannesburg - Disposable salaries are continuing to increase above inflation, according to the BankservAfrica Disposable Salary Index (BDSI).
“Disposable salaries have increased nominally by 7.6 percent for the year up to September 2013,” economist Mike Schussler said in a BankservAfrica statement on Thursday.
“This is probably due to various factors, including growth in gross salaries, small growth in private pension payments, slightly higher employment numbers, and probably fewer man days lost due to strikes, compared to the same period last year.”
He said disposable salaries increased in real terms for the third month in a row.
“This may be a bit surprising, but could be explained by the fact that the platinum miners' strike in the third quarter of 2012
probably involved more people than the motor industry strike of 2013.”
The increased disposable income could lead to relatively strong retail sales overall.
“After 10 months of mainly declining real incomes of the South African work force, the increase in disposable salaries over the last three months is probably very good news for the overall consumer sector,” Schussler said.
“Our July 2013 BDSI indicated that retail sales could come in stronger than expected, and they certainly did.”
Schussler expected retailers, the clothing sector and fast food sellers to see record sales.
“Record sales may come in slower, but they will be there, as employees in the formal sector continue to get real salary increases,” he said.
“One must also remember that consumer spending is more than just retail sales - it also includes tourism spending, petrol sales, and services such as cellular phones and movies.”