“Whereas the Trade Activity Index (TAI) in November usually strongly outpaces the October level, the 2013 TAI stabilised around the level achieved in October,” it said in a statement.
“The seasonally adjusted TAI for November 2013, however, declined by three index points to 52.”
The seasonally adjusted TAI for November 2013, was at a better level than in November 2011.
“It is therefore projected that trade conditions in December 2013 will be moderately positive, without a strong increase in activities.”
Sales volumes and new orders both remained at 58 and were slightly down on the 61 and 60, respectively, of October 2013.
“Inventories improved further as inventory building for the holiday season continued, while supplies improved by three points to 60,” it said.
“Backlogs on orders still reflect relatively strong demand before businesses close for the holiday period.”
Sales and input price pressures eased in November, with the input and sales price indices declining to 61 and 71 index points respectively.
“With the weaker rand, however, inflationary expectations appear to be rising,” Sacci said.
“The price expectations indices on sales and inputs returned to levels of 71 and 80 four and six points respectively above the October 2013 levels.”
The seasonally adjusted trade expectations index (TEI) maintained a positive level of 61 in November 2013 up from 59 in October.
“The six-month outlook for sales volumes eased somewhat, while new orders were unchanged at 59 and the supplier deliveries index improved by one point to 56,” Sacci said.
The inventories outlook returned to positive territory at 53.
Employment conditions in the trade sector were positive at 51, but lower than the 53 for October.
“The employment prospects index improved substantially as it strengthened to 56 from 51, indicating better prospects for employment in the trade environment in 2014.”