Macro Review

These monthly reports provide in-depth assessments of the trends shaping specific current social, economic, and political risks in South Africa. The Macro Review is supplemented by a monthly lunchtime seminar at the CRA’s headquarters in Johannesburg.
The long Lockdown and the South African consumer

The long Lockdown and the South African consumer

This edition of the Macro Review from the Centre For Risk Analysis (CRA), entitled The long Lockdown and the South African consumer, revisits the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on consumer behaviour, first explored in July 2020.
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Key takeaways:

  • Household consumption expenditure, at 59.9% of the gross domestic product (GDP), is a key driver of South Africa’s economy.
  • Consumer confidence recovered slightly in the first quarter of 2021 but remains very low.
  • Debt levels are rising, with households increasingly struggling to meet their debt obligations.
  • Household spending has diminished, as seen in poor retail and new vehicle sales.
  • Online activity remains strong, despite the easing of lockdown restrictions.