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Retail Sales Soar

| News by Staff Reporter

But still no change to the repo rate in sight

Data from Stats SA has shown a surge in retail sales in August, but analysts have warned this is likely to have little effect on the Reserve Bank’s decision to hold interest rates steady.

According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), “Retail trade sales in real terms increased by 7,1% year-on-year in August 2011.” This is up from 3% in July, the firm said.

Analysts had forecast an increase of 5,2% in retail sales year-on-year in August.

Inflation in September also exceeded economists’ forecast of a 5,6% increase, rising 5,7% compared with last September. This is up from 5,3% in August, according to Stats SA.

Although this figure is edging towards the Reserve Bank’s target range of 3% – 6% analysts have warned that an interest rate hike is unlikely as the rise in inflation is being bolstered by rising petrol and food prices – which would not be affected by an increase in interest rates.

In addition to this analysts have added that the robust growth in retail sales, indicative of a well recovering economy, was in part due to a slump in retail sales during the same period last year.

Source: www.bizpremises.co.za