Consumer Watch – July 2021

Despite slowing down, the vehicle sales growth rate remains at high levels compared to the past. Vehicle sales increased by +17.4% y-y to 38 030 units sold in June (-0.8% m-m). The recovery of food and beverage sales gained pace in May with food and beverage sales increasing by +7.0% m-m. After growing by +95.8% y-y in April, retail sales growth eased to +15.8% y-y in May. Owing to the depressed 2020 base, growth in the total value of building plans approved remains high. The value of residential building plans passed increased by +400% y-y in May (+14.6% m-m).
There will be no relief for motorists at the pumps in August as fuel prices are expected to increase by 91c/litre and 56c/litre for petrol and diesel, respectively. The cost of petrol will increase to R17.55/litre while the cost of diesel will increase to R15.85/litre. At the end of July, the rand traded at R14.63/USD, stronger by +17.2% y-y. Business confidence gained 2.3 points to 97.0 points in April. The last time business confidence was at this level was March 2018. Consumer confidence faded in 2Q21 falling from -9 points to -13 points.