Consumer Research Africa

Consumer Watch – September 2020

While several indicators remained well below normalised levels, some indicators released in September painted a slightly more optimistic picture. Unsurprisingly, vehicle sales were under significant pressure in August, with only 33 515 vehicles sold compared to 45 537 last year. The decline in food and beverage sales of -51.3% y-y in July was a +7.9ppts improvement on June sales, however, sales were still depressed by the lockdown restrictions. The ABSA PMI saw a 6.1-point improvement to 57.3 points, marking its fourth consecutive month above the 50-point neutral mark. CPI and PPI inflation were 3.1% y-y and 2.4% y-y in August, respectively, with PPI inflation trending towards normalised levels. A decline in petrol and diesel prices is expected in October – petrol and diesel are expected to be -39c/litre and -85c/litre cheaper at R14.12c/litre and R11.82c/litre, respectively. The rand ended September at R16.68/USD, closing -8.9% weaker y-y and 1.6% stronger m-m in September. Private sector credit extensions grew by 3.9% y-y in August, the slowest rate of growth since August 2010 (+3.0% y-y).