Wholesale trade sales fall by 9.9 percent

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pretoria - Wholesale trade sales at constant prices for the month of June fell by 9.9 percent year-on-year, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced on Thursday.

"Wholesale trade sales, at constant (2000) prices, for June 2009 decreased by 9.9 percent compared with June 2008.

"Wholesale trade sales, at current prices, for the second quarter of 2009 decreased by 12.9 percent compared with the second quarter of 2008," said Stats SA.

According to the statistical body, the major contributors to the decrease were dealers in solid, liquid and gaseous fuels and related products.

Dealers in metal and metal ores and dealers in machinery, equipment and supplies also contributed to the decrease.

Commenting on the figures, Investment Solutions senior economist Chris Hart told BuaNews that the data was not reflective of a recovery to the economy.

"The data is not reflective of anything near a robust recovery, the economy is still in a recession," said Mr Hart.

Meanwhile, figures for motor trade sales that were also released on Thursday showed that car sales for the second quarter of 2009 fell by 15.6 percent compared to the second quarter of 2008. 

The drop in motor vehicle sales, said Mr Hart was evidence of hardships faced by consumers. 

"Sales are still deeply negative. Interest rates have not fully come to the party to support consumers who are facing a delayed recovery. Consumers are struggling and they are not going to buy new cars," he explained.

He further added that the figures were likely to improve in the coming months pointing out that figures between May and June were indicative of when the economy had really hit the bottom.