Matt Quigley

The outlook for retail spending

Last week’s post looked at consumer confidence. This week we’ll look at the retail sector. The retail sector consists of the businesses and individuals selling finished goods to you and me, the consumers. The sector is hugely important to the South African economy, a source of employment for scores of South Africans, tax revenues for…

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Measuring consumer confidence

Last week’s post explained how to interpret economic indicators using gross domestic product as an example. This week, we’ll examine consumer confidence measures. Who are the biggest spenders in South Africa? Want to guess government? You’d be wrong. How about business? Wrong again. The correct answer is us. It’s not even close. South African household…

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How to use economic indicators

Last week’s post introduced the concept of economic indicators and why you should pay attention to them. This week’s post explains how to actually use them. As a general rule, with most indicators, you must look for four things: movement, magnitude, trends and context. Each of these tells you something interesting, but you only get…

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An introduction to economic indicators

Last week I told you what this blog is about: economic indicators. This week, we’ll actual dive into what they are and why they matter. But before doing so, I want to take a step back and say a few words about the way South Africa’s economy actually works. There are two things I can…

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Economics for ordinary people

I write a weekly economics preview for the Mail & Guardian Online. Every Monday morning, before South Africa’s markets open, I preview the noteworthy economic events and data releases likely to generate headlines and move markets in the week ahead. The economic events that I cover vary significantly from one week to the next. One…

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