Retail sales in South Africa edged up 0.2% year-on-year in March 2019 after an upwardly revised 1.4% gain in February and missing market expectations of a 0.6% rise. Sales increased less for household furniture, appliances & equipment (1.9% vs 4.8% in February) and they fell for food, beverages & tobacco (-3.6% vs -1.3%); pharmaceuticals and medical goods, cosmetics & toiletries (-4%, after being unchanged in February); textiles, clothing, footwear & leather goods (-1.8% vs 5.7%) and hardware, paint and glass (-0.9% vs -1%). In contrast, sales grew faster for general dealers (1.8% vs 1.2%) and rebounded for all other retailers (1.5% vs -0.7%). On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, retail trade fell 0.7 percent compared to an upwardly revised 0.6 percent gain in the prior month. Retail Sales YoY in South Africa averaged 4.40 percent from 2003 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 15.50 percent in September of 2006 and a record low of -6.30 percent in April of 2009.
Retail Sales YoY in South Africa is expected to be 1.70 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Retail Sales YoY in South Africa to stand at 2.40 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the South Africa Retail Sales YoY is projected to trend around 2.20 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.