Stats SA has announced that retail sales for April plummeted to the largest decline on record.
Sales were down 50.4% for April 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.
"Seasonally adjusted sales at current prices slumped by almost 50% under level 5 lockdown in April, compared with March. This is the biggest monthly fall in sales since 2002, when Stats SA started publishing monthly growth figures in the current series," Keshnee Naidoo, director for distributive trade statistics at Stats SA, said in a voice note issued in conjunction with the release of the retail sales data.
During April, lockdown restrictions were at level 5, which meant only essential services could operate.
May retail sales declined by 12%, reflecting a rebound as some sectors of the economy slowly reopened.
The comparisons were based on constant 2015 prices.