Consumer Watch – May 2020

The restrictions placed on economic activity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic led to sharp declines in some of the economic indicators we monitor. Business Confidence (SACCI) fell -12.1 points to 77.8 points in April while the ABSA PMI shed -2.0 points to 46.1 points but remains above the YTD average 45.9 points. Nominal food and beverage sales grew by 5.3% y-y in February 2020 vs. 6.9% y-y growth in January.

Coastal petrol and diesel prices are expected to increase by 118c/litre and 22c/litre to R12.70/litre and R10.70/litre respectively in June 2020. Despite the increases, motorists will pay -21.2% and -27.1% less for petrol and diesel respectively on a y-y basis. The rand clawed back some value in May 2020, appreciating by 5.6% m-m against the dollar. The rand is down -16.9% on a y-y basis and ended the month of May at R17.55/USD, stronger than the month’s average of R18.19/USD.