SA Consumer Watch – February 2022

The consumer market is showing signs of normalisation despite successive fuel price increases. Retail sales grew by +3.1% y-y (real) in December, while food and beverage sales grew by +26.6% y-y (nominal) in December (+21.6% y-y in November). Vehicle sales growth continued in February, with the y-y growth rate at 17.9% (+19.4% y-y in January). Petrol price increased by 126c/litre to R20.68/litre and diesel dropped by 144c/litre to R18.87/litre in March. The cost to refuel a midsized petrol engine car (55 litres) is R1 137 (+6.5% m-m).

Inflation pressures are moderating as CPI inflation decreased by 20bps to 5.7%, and the PPI inflation declined from 10.8% to 10.1% in January 2022. The rand closed the month of January at R15.37/USD, +0.65% m-m stronger against the USD. SACCI business confidence index improved to 94.1 points in January, while Private Sector Credit Extension is gaining pace, increasing by +3.1% y-y in January (+2.6% y-y in December). The total value of building plans passed grew by +10.2% y-y in December 2021.