Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/21/2012 -- BMI View: We are relatively positive about private consumption in South Africa. In our view, a number of factors bode well for consumer spending: high nominal wage growth, declining unemployment (albeit slowly, and driven by public sector job creation) and the low interest rates which should keep a lid on debt-servicing costs. Certainly, the latest retail sales numbers from Statistics South Africa are encouraging and indicate that spending is holding up well.
Headline Industry Data
- 2012 per capita food consumption growth in local currency = +9.2%; forecast compound annual growth to 2016 = +9.7%.
- 2012 beer volume sales = +3.0%; forecast compound annual growth to 2016 = +3.4%.
- 2012 mass grocery retail sales = +10.4%; forecast compound annual growth to 2016 = +10.9%.
Key Company Developments
DTI Makes Food Processing An Economic Priority: In April 2012 the South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) made food processing a priority area in the country's economy. The department is to launch a new incentive scheme, the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme, in April 2012 to support industry development and help businesses become more competitive. Although South Africa's food processing sector is lucrative, it has suffered a number of setbacks in recent times, including dwindling export performance and a lack of innovation.
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Court Upholds Ruling On Walmart Massmart Deal, SA Retail Set For Major Shake-up: In March 2012, despite an appeal by the South African government, a South African court upheld an initial decision by the South African tribunal for Walmart's acquisition of Massmart to proceed with a few concessions. There is no doubt that Walmart's entry into South Africa with the acquisition of Massmart is going to have a major impact on the food retail sector. The big question is which retailers stand to lose the most? We have argued that Pick 'n Pay and Spar would probably be the most vulnerable, with Shoprite more likely to put up a sterner resistance. Shoprite has an impressive centralised distribution system which allows it to keep costs down. Efficiency will be important because Walmart can source food more cheaply than almost anyone else.
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