Tag ArchivesJason Muscat


Retail trade sales underwhelm in July

By Jason Muscat, FNB Senior Economic Analyst. July retail trade sales expanded 1.3% y/y, behind our expectations of a print north of 2%. As with the manufacturing data, the retail figures were drawn from a new 2018 sample, and while there were some pretty substantial revisions to the data, the sample is now more reflective […]

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2Q18 GDP confirms technical recession

By Jason Muscat, FNB Senior Economic Analyst. South Africa’s economy contracted by -0.7% qq (seasonally adjusted and annualised) in 2Q18, the second consecutive contraction, which confirmed that the country entered a technical recession in the second quarter. (more…)

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June manufacturing production: Down, but not out

By Jason Muscat, Senior Economic Analyst, FNB. June was another grim month for the manufacturing sector, which expanded by just 0.7% y/y and 0.3% m/m. (more…)

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Weak activity continues to weigh on sentiment in the construction sector

The FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index gained 3 points to register a level of 15 in 2Q2018. The sustained low confidence is explained by a deterioration in almost all of the underlying indicators, most notably construction activity and tendering competition. In summary, the civil construction sector remains under duress with little, if any, improvement likely over […]

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Pre-VAT increase buying dents retail sales

By Jason Muscat, FNB Senior Economic Analyst. April retail sales disappointed, expanding just 0.5% y/y and contracting -1.2% m/m. Of particular concern, the three month % change has now contracted for the third consecutive month. The sharp deceleration suggests that consumers may well have front-loaded purchases ahead of the April implementation of the VAT hike. […]

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Help at financial recession

1Q18 GDP disappoints even the bears

By Jason Muscat, FNB Senior Economic Analyst. 1Q18 GDP growth disappointed sharply, even against our bearish forecast of -1% q/q. Growth contracted -2.2% q/q and expanded just 0.8% y/y. As expected, the headline number was dragged lower by the mining and manufacturing sectors, which contracted by -9.9% q/q and -6.4% respectively, each shaving 0.8 percentage […]

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April inflation surprises on the low side

By Jason Muscat, FNB Senior Economic Analyst. April headline inflation surprised on the low side, printing at 4.5% y/y, below our expectations of 4.8%. Core inflation, which strips out food and non-alcoholic beverages, fuel and energy accelerated to 4.5% y/y from 4.1% the previous month. While the impact of the hikes in the April fuel […]

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1Q18 Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) – Unemployment rate holds steady  

By Jason Muscat, FNB Senior Economic Analyst. South Africa’s unemployment rate in 1Q18 was unchanged from 4Q17 at 26.7%. Of the 307,000 new entrants to the labour force, 206,000 were absorbed and the labour force participation rate edged higher to 59.3% from 58.8% in 4Q17. The number of employed people increased 1.3% q/q and 1% […]

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