South Africa's retail sales rose for the first time in three months in September driven by higher demand for clothing and footwear and pharmaceuticals and medical goods, Statistics South Africa reported Wednesday.
Retail sales grew unexpectedly by 2.1 percent on a yearly basis in September, after falling 1.5 percent in August and 1.2 percent in July. Sales were forecast to fall 0.2 percent.
Sales of pharmaceuticals and medical goods, cosmetics and toiletries surged 10.4 percent and that of textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods gained 11.3 percent.
Month-on-month, retail sales growth improved to 5.1 percent in September from 4.9 percent in the previous month.
In the third quarter, retail trade decreased 5.4 percent compared with the second quarter.