Turnover for private sector enterprises dropped by 5,2% in the first quarter of 2015, the highest quarter-on-quarter percentage decrease since the first quarter of 2010.
Total turnover fell from R2,06 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2014 (the quarter ending December) to R1,95 trillion in the first quarter of 2015 (the quarter ending March), according to Stats SA’s latest Quarterly financial statistics publication1.
Of the eight industries surveyed, seven reported decreases. The trade industry reported the largest percentage drop, falling by 8,0% quarter-on-quarter, followed by manufacturing (-5,5%), transport (-4,9%), and mining (-3,5%). The fall experienced by the trade industry was largely a result of decreased sales after the holiday season.
The industry that reported an increase in turnover was personal services, rising by 2,9%.
Turnover in the electricity, gas and water supply industry fell by 2,2% over the same period, largely as a result of a fall in demand for electricity during summer. This decrease is seasonal. Turnover reaches a peak in the third quarter (the quarter ending September) as a result of increased electricity demand in the winter months. Turnover then decreases for both the fourth and first quarters and rises again in the second.
Electricity-related indicators from two other separate surveys follow the same pattern. The amount of electricity purchased and sold by municipalities2, and the volume of electricity available for distribution (as reported by electricity producers) 3 also peak in the third quarter of every year.
Measured year-on-year, however, turnover in the electricity, gas and water supply industry increased by 9,1% in the first quarter 2015 compared with the first quarter in 2014.
1 Download Quarterly financial statistics release here.
2 Download the latest Electricity generated and available for distribution here.
3 Download the latest Quarterly financial statistics of municipalities here.