SA Consumer Outlook – Recovery after the Covid Crisis

We quantify the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Consumer Wallet and estimate the wage income may have been lost in 2020. In 2021, we expect the partial recovery of jobs lost in 2020 and resumption of full pay could result in the total wage bill increasing. Along with Eskom’s clawback of tariffs, the normalisation of transport costs and Social Grants could partly dilute gains in wage income. We believe consumers’ funds available for retail and discretionary spend could grow by 7.8% in 2021. Beyond the immediate negative impact of the pandemic, we highlight themes which could have longer-term consequences on the consumer wallet.