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South Africa Retail Sales Growth Tops Expectations In February

4/18/2012 8:39 AM ET

Retail sales in South Africa increased at a markedly faster pace than economists expected in February, data released by Statistics South Africa showed Wednesday.

Retail sales increased 7.2 percent on an annual basis in February, sharply faster than the 4.7 percent growth economists expected. In January, sales grew 4.2 percent year-on-year.

Retail sales at general dealers rose 8.7 percent annually, while sales of food, beverages and tobacco in specialized stores advanced 3.5 percent. There was a 5.1 percent year-on-year gain in retail sales of pharmaceutical goods, cosmetics and toiletries during the month, and a 4.3 percent rise in clothing, footwear and leather goods.

On a monthly basis, retail sales decreased a seasonally adjusted 2.2 percent in February, after falling 1 percent in the previous month. In the January-February period, sales advanced 5.7 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier.

by RTT Staff Writer

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