South African Retail Confidence Surges to Six-Year High, but Headwinds Remain


According to the latest retail trade report compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research, retail confidence surged to a six-year high in the second quarter of this year. That's a promising sign, but it is off a low base and the outlook is riddled with potholes.

The Bureau for Economic Research (BER) said on Monday that retailer confidence shot up from a dismal 37 in Q1 to 54 in Q2 - a six-year high. Wholesale confidence nudged up another five points to 63, while new dealer vehicle confidence hit the pedal to the metal, soaring to 63 from 35. Some of that tender money that has been sloshing around may be flowing to car dealerships.

The report is based on a survey which asks respondents "to indicate whether their sales volumes, selling prices and profitability were up, down or the same relative to last year in the same quarter".

The survey took place from 12-31 May 2021, so it looks especially impressive compared with Q2 of 2020, when some of the readings collapsed into single digits.

"... given that South Africa introduced a strict lockdown in the beginning of April 2020 (Ed's note - actually...

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