Consumers A slippery slope
According to economists, consumers have “never had it so good.” This on the back of a modest decline in inflation, from 5.8% to 5.3%, and in the price of fuel, which is expected to drop another R1 in the month of February. The declining fuel price is likely to result in a further drop in inflation, which could even go lower than 5%, and this is going to put more money in the pockets of South Africa’s punters, where it will doubtless burn a hole and will help them rack up further debt, in a tradition as South African as cooked meat and ball games on wiry yellow grass. According to the National Credit Bureau, total consumer debt is coming in at or near R1.47trn in mortgages, vehicle finance, credit cards, store cards, personal loans, short-term loans, pension and insurance-backed loans.
Comment: Still, we could hope that at least some of the expected bounty will go towards servicing some of that debt