September 2003 - A note on developments in the retail-trade sector
Last Modified Date:
2020-10-01, 09:31 PM
Quarterly Bulletins > Articles and Notes
South Africa’s services-providing industries have increased their share in the total economy significantly over the past fifty years or so. This reflects the increasing sophistication of the South African economy, but other factors, such as the end to economic isolation and the repeal of sanctions in the early 1990s, trade liberalisation, globalisation and the associated technological progress, also contributed to the growing importance of the services industries. All the subsectors of the tertiary sector are not benefiting equally from these structural changes. The share in total gross domestic product of the transport, storage and communication subsector, and the financial services subsector increased during the 1990s. By contrast, the contribution of the total trade subsector initially remained broadly unchanged but declined later in that decade. The aim of this note is to briefly review some developments in the retail-trade sector since the beginning of the 1990s. Firstly, changes in the contribution of the retail-trade sector to total gross value added are reviewed. In the section thereafter the growth in real value added by the retail-trade sector is described. This is followed by a short overview of changes in the sector’s gross fixed capital formation, saving and net lending. The subsequent section analyses the composition of factor income in the retail-trade sector. This is followed by a discussion of employment changes, while concluding remarks are made in the final section.