The numbers—Retail sales
Actual: 8.3% y/y; 1.9% m/m s.a. (June)
Consensus: 4.7% y/y; 0.5% m/m s.a. (June)
Previous: 7.1% y/y; -0.6% m/m s.a. (May)
The significantly better-than-expected retail sales growth in June was driven by the following retailers:
Textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods retailers (16.4% y/y in June from 11.6% y/y in May);
Retailers in pharmaceutical and medical goods (8.7% y/y in June from 7.6% y/y in May); and
“All other retailers” (8.5% y/y in June from 10.1% y/y May).
In the three months to June (Q2:12), real growth in retail sales increased by 2.1% q/q s.a., with strong sales recorded by general dealers, “all other” retailers and textile, clothing, footwear and leather goods retailers. This view, combined with positive data for wholesale trade sales and the superior data of the motor industry, could see the sector contribute positively towards GDP in Q2:12. Recall that in Q1:12 the sector grew by 3.0% q/q (saar) and contributed 0.4 pps to the 2.7% q/q (saar) GDP growth—which was driven in large part by the turnover in the wholesale and motor divisions in particular.
It appears that the consumer has remained resilient for longer than we had expected, notwithstanding a contradictory signal from the BER’s consumer confidence index for Q2:12. There has been a fair amount of noise in the data arising from the timing of public holidays in 2012 versus 2011 even though Statistics SA has made adjustments in the seasonally adjusted data. However, even taking this into account, it seems we will have to wait a bit longer to witness a clear signal of slowdown in retail spending.