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South Africa Retail Sales Fall For First Time Since Early 2017

South Africa's retail sales fell for the first time in nearly two years in December, figures from Statistics South Africa reported on Wednesday.

Retail sales dropped 1.4 percent year-on-year in December after a 2.9 percent rise in November. That was the weakest outcome since January 2017, when sales fell 1.7 percent.

Economists had expected a 2.5 percent rise for December.

The biggest negative contribution came from textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods and general dealers.

On a monthly basis, retail sales dropped a seasonally adjusted 4.8 percent in December after a 2.8 percent rise in November.

In three months ended December, retail trade sales increased 0.8 percent from the previous three month.

In 2018, retail sales grew an average 2.1 percent versus 3.1 percent in the previous year.

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