Consumer Watch – October 2020

In September 2020, the ABSA PMI improved by 1 point to 58.3 points following a 6.1-point gain in August. Business confidence remained stable at 85.7 points in September, however, confidence levels were below the 92.6-point average in 2019. Vehicle sales remained weak in September, declining by -26.4% y-y to 37 403 units. Food and beverage sales in September were down -43.5% y-y which is an improvement on the -50% y-y decline in August. CPI and PPI inflation in September were stable at 3.0% y-y and 2.5% y-y, respectively. Further fuel savings are expected in November, petrol will cost -27c/litre less at R13.85c/litre and diesel -11c/litre less at R11.71c/litre. This will translate to annual savings of -10.3% y-y on petrol in November. The rand ended the month of October at R16.25/USD, -7.0% weaker y-y and 2.6% stronger m-m. Worryingly, private sector credit extensions slowed further to 3.1% y-y in September (3.9% y-y in August).