Cape Town - South Africans' take-home pay for last month increased to a 19-month high as disposable salaries outpaced inflation for the second month in a row.

This is according to bank payments clearing house, BankservAfrica’s Disposable Salaries Index and the Private Pensions Index report released yesterday.

April’s month-on-month increase of 1.1 percent was slightly below the 1.3 percent increase recorded in March.

BankservAfrica said, while disposable income figures had shown an upward trend, there was doubt whether this would lead to an increase in consumer confidence.

“Disposable salary increases usually lead to retail sales growth with improved consumer spending, notable from fast foods to the tourism sector. However, the increase in disposable salaries is still hampered by real personal tax growth following February’s budget revisions,” BankservAfrica said. The company’s index sampled 3 million people.

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The company said the average disposable salary rose by 7.3 percent to R13 958 in the period under review on a year-on-year basis.

This represented a R945 increase in nominal terms. In real terms, the banked salary was R13 755, a real increase of R148 since April, last year. It said the difference was due to the higher rate of inflation in 2016 which averaged 6.4 percent.

The new salary increases are based on the current rate of inflation, which has steadily decreased this year.

The payments clearing house pointed out that 14 percent of the disposable salaries it had reviewed were below R4 000 per month.