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Black Friday boosts November’s economic transactions

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South African economic transactions in November improved slightly due to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. However many are still treading with caution as uncertainties in the South African economy persist.
The BankservAfrica Economic Transaction Index (BETI) reading for November was 127,8, a 0,3% change from October.
“Sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday enticed consumers to spend more leading to a BETI increase, which is also seeing November becoming a stronger month relative to others, spurring the shopping season to arrive earlier in the last two years,” explains Mike Schüssler, chief economist at Economists dotcoza.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday also led to the annual BETI growth of 1,6%.
“There are, however, still indications of weakness in the economy that suggest the weekend of sales distorted the full month of November’s economic transaction figures,” says Schüssler.
Transaction sizes have declined in nominal terms and reflect an economy where confidence is lacking. On a quarterly basis, the BETI declined by -1,3%, indicating consumers and businesses are still undertaking a cautious approach to their spending.
“Early debit order volumes are growing quickly which is perhaps another sign of underlying stress in the economy,” Schüssler adds.
He adds that the leaning towards December as a major shopping month is gradually changing with many South Africans’ shopping habits mirroring Americans when it comes to Black Friday.
“As such, we should treat the November economic transaction increases with caution until the seasonal trend catches up with this change in habits.”