South Africa's retail trade sales dropped by 0,4% year-on-year in December 2019, according to Statistics South Africa.
The sales decline was below analysts projections, with the largest negative contributors to the decrease being general dealers (-0,8% and contributing -0,3 of a percentage point); retailers in hardware, paint and glass (-3,7% and contributing -0,2 of a percentage point); and all 'other' retailers (-1,7% and contributing -0,2 of a percentage point).
Sales volumes rose marginally by 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared with the same period last year.
Weakest growth since 2009
For the full 2019 year, retail trade sales increased by 1,2% compared with 2018. This represents the weakest rate since 2009, as the industry battles low consumer confidence and constrained household spending.
The main contributors to the 1,2% increase were general dealers (1,1% and contributing 0,5 of a percentage point); retailers in textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods (1,8% and contributing 0,3 of a percentage point); and all 'other' retailers (1,8% and contributing 0,2 of a percentage point).
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