Shoppers are spending
Despite all the doom and gloom it appears that the retail bonanza is kicking off.
IOL brings us a report from Durban. Apparently the retailers are happy that despite the current economic problems, their shops are full and people are spending money.
There was a general feeling that the season was going to be up, as there were more people at the shopping mall according to the manager of the Pavilion.
Other store managers while noting the increased numbers of shoppers also mentioned that they had noticed signs of consumers being more cautious this season and not splurging out as much as usual.
Stores that tend to attract clientele with already high levels of debt have cut prices in order to make their products more attractive to their customers.
The chair of the South African Consumer Union, Ina Wilken, however warned shoppers to budget for next year and not just spend indiscriminately this year. She cautioned parents to remember that school fees will need to be paid amongst other New Year necessities.
Cosatu, also as reported by IOL, has warned workers about the year ahead. The general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, said that after a long year of global turmoil the worst was yet to come with companies announcing retrenchments, with more expected to follow in 2009.
IOL in a further story reported that the Western Cape will escape a recession unscathed. The Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced the economy of the Western Cape could still grow by up to 4% next year. This was apparently due to the diversified nature of its economy which allows it to ride the various business cycles out.
The extra business activity, in theory, should also lead to more jobs being created.
The call centre sector is booming with many overseas companies outsourcing to South Africa.
However automotive and textiles are two industries that are expected to suffer.
In international news, the chief if the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that 2009 could be a very tough year. They have called for fiscal stimulus, basically a great whack of wonga, to be chucked at the global economy in the hopes of kick-starting it. The fear of social unrest stepping in to fill the gap was a motivator for this call. The article can be found here, at the Mail and Guardian.
Justmoney knows that its bad, but it could be worse. When in doubt, check it our, rather get a savings account and budget for next year, so that if the dire predictions come true you are ready and if it is not as bad as the doom and gloom merchants would have us believe, then you will be able to play a little bit.