Things Generally A jobless army
Several critical bits of info have recently been released about the state of the economy and the people in it, and things are a little on the shaky side. First up, retail trade sales, which are expected to increase by 6.8% year-on-year, for the month of March, down from 7.2% in February, according to a survey of beard-tugging economists by I-Net Bridge, following significant month on month declines in growth for Jan and Feb, suggesting that consumers are under pressure from the rises in the prices of such unavoidables as transport, water, electricity, and food. On the upside, though, consumer spending was up 4.6% for the fourth quarter of last year, after an increase of 3.4% in the second quarter of last year and 3.8% in the third quarter. This suggests that some species of boom might be underway, but don’t leap up on those white-slipped convention centre chairs just yet: this spending may soon be curtailed as punters meet the headwinds detailed above, and as the recent increase in joblessness, back over an official 25%, makes itself felt.
Comment: Apartheid was the curse of generations past. Unemployment is the tragedy of this one. And it may prove ultimately harder to dislodge.