Rand steady ahead of retail sales data

The rand was stable in early trade on Wednesday, ahead of the release of retail sales figures later in the day that will give an insight into consumer demand in Africa’s most industrialised economy.

At 08:50, the rand traded at R18.14 against the dollar.

Statistics South Africa will publish January retail sales numbers at 1100 GMT.

Analysts polled by Reuters are predicting a 2.0% contraction in annual terms in January, after a 0.6% decline in December.

South Africa’s economic growth outlook is bleak this year, with crippling power cuts seen hurting businesses of all sizes and keeping inflation high.

On Tuesday, Stats SA data showed mining output contracted 1.9% in January, while manufacturing fell 3.7%.

The country’s benchmark 2030 government bond slipped in early deals, with the yield up 2.5 basis points at 10.040%.

Source: moneyweb.co.za