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Retail Sales Unimpressive

| News by Staff Reporter

Recently released retail sales are weak compared to the first quarter

Retail sales in June 2011 increased 2,2% year-on-year, but these figures have done little to quash expectations of a slowdown in the economy later this year.

“Retail trade sales in real terms increased by 2,2% year-on-year in June 2011,” said Statistics SA.

Economists had forecast growth of 2,1%, following an upwardly revised annual increase of 0,2% in May, but these figures are still weak compared to the robust growth of 4,8% seen in the first quarter of 2011.

Statistics SA said seasonally adjusted retail trade sales increased by 2,0% in June 2011 compared with May 2011, following month-on-month changes of –4,8% in May and 2,8% in April.

Investec economist Kgotso Radira said while these figures are in line with expectations they are still disappointing.

In addition to the relatively weak figures seen in the second quarter of 2011, economists forecast a further slowdown in the economy in the third quarter due to international financial problems as well as the recent local strikes which affected economic output across various industries.

Statistics SA said the highest annual growth rate was recorded for “‘retailers in pharmaceutical and medical goods, cosmetics and toiletries’ (9,2%), followed by ‘retailers in household furniture, appliances and equipment’ (6,2%) and ‘general dealers’ (3,4%).”

“The weak second-quarter numbers provide further evidence that economic growth lost some momentum and there is little demand pressure on prices,” Nedbank said in a research note.

The statistics firm added that retail trade sales (in real terms) for the second quarter of this year increase 4,1% year-on-year.

“The largest contributor to the increase of 4,1% was ‘general dealers’ (5,5% and contributing 2,1 percentage points), followed by ‘retailers in textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods’ (5,6% and contributing 1,2 percentage points).”

Source: www.bizpremises.co.za