Waiting for the January sales
New data was released by Statistics SA this week.
It deals with retail sales in November of last year.
The financial crisis was just starting to rear its ugly head here and folks were getting wary and worried. Consequently there was a whole bunch of wait and see going on.
Retail sales in November 2008 were down by 4 percent.
Retailers told stories of the festive rush coming late last year. Folks were waiting until the last minute, but in the end retailers said that the festive spending frolic was ok, and not as bad as they thought it would be.
It will be interesting to see the December sales figures to see how much of the contraction was absorbed by folk waiting.
Now we have the January sales to buy from and retail should be getting better.
Here is what the financial papers had to say about it. BUA News reported the drop as evidence that consumers are spending less in the current economic climate, and that there was a contraction in demand for credit.
The Mail and Guardian interviewed an economist who stated that the December figures might be brighter but that they were 'unlikely to signal a reversal in fortunes for the sector'. These figures were seen as justifying a rate cut early next month when the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets.
The MPC has brought forward its scheduled meeting by a week to deal with the earlier than usual budget this year.
Business Day also looked at the drop in retail figures and took this as evidence that a large rate cut may be on the cards.
The change in the MPC meeting forward rather than postponing it 'fanned speculation the Bank may cut rates more aggressively than usual'.
The MPC meeting will take place just after the new inflation basket is used for the first time. It will be an interesting week.
The Dispatch had a brief look at this story and said that the drop in retail sales had economists believing that the retail sector was clearly in recession.
Justmoney will wait and see what the December figures look like before calling a big scary word like recession.
Fin24 noted that the meeting of the MPC had been moved forward.
iAfrica finished up with a story about the expected interest rate cuts and their interviewed expert was calling for a 100 base point cut.
Justmoney is looking forward with great interest to the decision of the MPC and hopes that it will stimulate the credit market but reckons that you can still never go wrong with a decent savings account and making sure that your budget is up to date so that you do know what you can or can't spend.