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Consumers avoid big-ticket items as food, fuel prices bite

| Economic factors

Stats SA says that higher food, fuel, and energy prices have started weighing on household incomes amid prevailing weak economic conditions. 

 Consumers are steering clear of committing to big-ticket items such as furniture and appliances as higher food, fuel, and energy prices have started weighing on household incomes amid prevailing weak economic conditions.

Data from Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) yesterday showed that retail trade sales rose by just 0.1 percent year-on-year in May, slowing down substantially from an upwardly revised 4.3 percent in April.

This retail sales print markedly missed market forecasts of a 1.5 percent growth, and was the smallest gain in retail activity since February.

StatsSA said sales increased only in 2 out of 7 retail divisions, namely general dealers which include supermarkets, and all other retailers which include online stores and retailers specialising in jewellery, stationery and sports goods.

StatsSA’s deputy director for distributive trade statistics Raquel Floris said sales slumped for textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods, recording its first contraction since December 2020.

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