Retail sales down 0.4% year/year in December
JOHANNESBURG - South African retail sales fell 0.4% year-on-year in December following an increasing of 2.6% in November, Statistics South Africa said on Wednesday.
On a month-on-month basis sales were down 3.1%. They were up 0.8% in the three months to the end of December compared with the same period last year, the statistics body said.
According to Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM, the rand extended gains against the Dollar on Wednesday, despite the high unemployment figures and disappointing manufacturing production data released earlier this week.
#Retail trade sales decreased by 0,4% y/y in December 2019. In 2019, retail trade sales increased by 1,2% compared with 2018.— Stats SA (@StatsSA) February 12, 2020
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Otunuga said ahead of the retail sales data release, " Asian Investors breathed a sigh of relief as number of new coronavirus cases appears to be slowing. This sense of hope has boosted appetite for riskier assets and emerging market currencies with the Rand falling into the category. While the jump in global risk appetite could elevate the local currency higher, appetite towards the rand could fade today if December’s retail sales disappoint market expectations. Retail sales are forecast to rise 0.7% year-on-year compared to the 2.6% increase witnessed in November 2019."
LISTEN: Keshnee Naidoo, Director for Distributive Trade Statistics at Stats SA, provides a quick rundown of the latest figures.