- ATM and card transactions during lockdown have plummeted to record lows.
- On Sunday, far fewer transactions were recorded than on a typical Christmas day.
- Judging from the current activity, it looks like about 70% of the consumer-facing economy has fallen away, an economist says.
- For more stories, go to Business Insider's home page.
An analysis of ATM transactions and point-of-sale (POS) transactions at stores across South Africa confirms very little is going on in the economy during lockdown.
South Africa entered an unprecedented 21-day lockdown on Friday to slow the spread of Covid-19 in the country, which has so far killed three people.
By Sunday, only 1.2 million transactions at ATMs and stores were recorded – which are only 60% of the usual number on Christmas Day and during the Easter holidays, according to a report by BankservAfrica and Economists.co.za.
In fact, it was the lowest number of transactions since records started ten years ago, says Mike Schüssler, chief economist at economists.co.za told Business Insider SA.
On a typical day after the 25th (typically pay day in South Africa), around 5.4 million transactions are recorded.
By Sunday, the transaction volumes were just 28% of the normal for the same day last year.
But this follows a massive spike in transactions in the run-up to the lockdown:
Judging from the current activity, it looks like about 70% of the consumer-facing economy has fallen away, says Schüssler.
Consumers make up about 60% of expenditure in the domestic economy, so a one-month lockdown could see GDP plummet.
While the SA Reserve Bank only sees the domestic economy shrink by 0.2% this year, other economists expect a decline of more than 2%.
Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- YouTube, Netflix, Showmax and DStv Now all drop streaming speeds in SA due to lockdown
- SA has banned the export of face masks, hand sanitiser – and an unproven Covid-19 drug
- You’re not allowed to run in your estate or complex during the lockdown
- Help for taxpayers: Tax breaks, relaxed rules for companies, some individuals amid crisis
- Many SA hospitals are still allowing non-urgent operations despite corona risks
- SA companies can trade ‘recklessly’ during the Covid-19 disaster – and 60 days beyond
- Only licensed spaza shops can stay open during SA's lockdown
- SA’s lockdown now comes with an automatic extension to driver’s and car licences