Retail trade sales increased by 2,2% year-on-year in October 2018, after a contraction of 0.7% in September, according to Statistics South Africa. On a month-on-month basis, sales rose 0.6% in October. According to a poll conducted by Bloomberg, the muted growth in September was higher than economists’ consensus of 1.5%. Retailers in household furniture, appliances and equipment had the highest annual growth rate at 10.1%; while all other retailers grew 6.2%. Retailers in pharmaceuticals and medical goods, cosmetics and toiletries showed growth of 4.2% and retailers in textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods 3,4%.

Compared to September 2018’s seasonally adjusted retail trade sales, October 2018 saw an increase in sales by 0.6%. This followed month-on-month changes of -0,7% in September 2018 and 0,7% in August 2018. From August 2018 to October 2018 seasonally adjusted retail trade sales increased by 1% compared to the previous three months. Retail trade sales rose 1,8% in the three months ended October 2018 compared with the three months ended October 2017, according to Statistics South Africa.