Consumer Watch – April 2021

Vehicle sales in March 2021 grew by 31.8% y-y to 44,217 units, marking the first month of growth since February 2020. The ABSA PMI rose by 4.4 points to 57.4 points in March, extending the 2.1-point gain made in February. The May petrol price reduction of -9c/litre to R16.53 will barely offset the 100c/litre hike experienced in April, while the -31c/litre diesel price adjustment to R13.87 follows the 66c/litre increase in April, which included the 27c/litre fuel levy increase. Food and beverage sales in February fell by -24.2% y-y during Level 3 lockdown, the decline is above the 6-month average of -30.5% y-y, suggesting more consumer willingness to dine out. The rand traded at R14.49/USD at the close of April, leaving it 1.7% stronger m-m and 27.9% stronger y-y.