- South African Retail Sales Slump for First Time in 22 Months
South African retail sales slumped unexpectedly for the first time in 22 months in December.
Sales contracted 1.4 percent from a year earlier, compared with a revised 2.9 percent increase in November, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said in a report on its website Wednesday. That’s the first time sales declined since February 2017.
The median of 10 economists’ estimates was for expansion of 2.5 percent in December.
Retailers including Shoprite Holdings Ltd., the continent’s biggest grocer, have reported slower growth that reflects the country’s weakened economic outlook. Lower-income consumers are struggling most of all because of higher fuel prices and increased value-added tax.
Africa’s most-industrialized economy hasn’t expanded by more than 2 percent a year since 2013, and the central bank in January cut its forecast for growth in gross domestic product this year to 1.7 percent from 1.9 percent.