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Retail should benefit from modest but positive gains in 2013

Feb 20th, 07:56

Retail should benefit from modest but positive gains in 2013

With core economic fundamentals holding steady in SA, and global economies showing the first signs of recovery, key retail indicators are set to show modest, but positive, gains in 2013.

This compares favourably with a year ago, when the retail sector was bracing for a slow-growth year.

“Our forecast for 2013 is that while gains will remain modest, retail indicators are in general remaining in positive territory,” says SA Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) CEO Amanda Stops, referring to the Economic Overview – January 2013, prepared by respected economist Christo Luus.

“And we see this being underpinned by better core fundamentals in other key economic metrics.”

Total retail sales were significantly higher towards the end of 2012, with November data showing a 3.4% increase year-on-year. Over the period from January to November, retail sales in 2012 tracked upwards by 4.6 percent compared with the same period in 2011.

Retail sales growth is forecast to see gradual improvement in 2013, reaching approximately 4.5% in early 2014.
Improving economic fundamentals are underpinning these gains.

Overall, SA’s economic growth is expected to gradually rise from 2.4 percent in 2012, to 2.8 percent in 2013, reaching 3.4 percent in 2014. This is in line with the slow but steady improvement in both the US and European economies, which should see global economic growth hold firm in 2013.

SA’s retail sector should note that low interest rates, steady inflation levels and positive growth in real household income are positive signs for the next 12 months.

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