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Retail trade sales up by 1.3% as appliances, clothing show growth

| Economic factors

Retail trade sales for July grew by 1.3% year-on-year in real terms - with appliances and clothing indicating significant growth, Stats SA announced.

The figure was in line with economist projections.

NKC African Economics had forecast a 1.3% year-on-year increase in an earlier note to clients.  

Stats SA said that seasonally adjusted retail trade sales increased by 1.3% in July compared with June 2018. This follows a month-on-month decrease of 1.1% in June and an increase of 1.3% in May.

The biggest decreases over the past year was in the specialised stores category that incorporates food, beverages and tobacco, which fell by 2.2% in July 2018 when compared to July 2017. Additionally, hardware, paint and glass fell by 5.1%.

The household furniture, appliances and equipment category grew by 6.9%, while textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods grew 3% over July 2018. 

While retail trade sales grew, other recent economic data out of SA has been mostly gloomy.

Earlier on Wednesday the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's monthly Business Confidence Index fell to its lowest point this year. On Tuesday, meanwhile, a separate gauge of business confidence released by the Rand Merchant Bank and Stellenbosch University's Bureau for Economic Research came in at its lowest level this year. 

Last week Stats SA reported that the country has slipped into a technical recession for the first time since 2009. 

Manufacturing production volumes, however, increased by an annualised rate of 2.9% in July. 

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