Take-home pay in South Africa has increased above inflation, according to the latest BankservAfrica Take-home Pay Index, providing a slight boost to household spending.
Take-home pay increased by 0.9% in July 2019 in real terms year-on-year, while in nominal terms it increased 5.3%.
Although the increases were still relatively low in July, household expenditure was given a boost through a lower inflation environment, the group said.
The average real take-home pay was R14,177 compared to R14,049 in July 2018. Nominal take-home pay improved by 5.3% year-on-year to reach R15,584.
Overall, total payments in nominal terms increased by 6.5% in July, indicating overall salary payments were still in a recovery phase.
“Growth has been off a low base from July 2018 when government salary increases were a little delayed in some cases,” BankservAfrica said.
This suggests that if inflation remains subdued, positive increases in take-home pay can be expected in the next few months, said Mike Schüssler, chief economist at economists.co.za.
“Consumer spending in the form of retail sales will bounce back as salary adjustments were higher than inflation,” he said.
According to Schüssler, the increase in July was slower than June and May, but offers a more realistic trend, as wages carried over from May to June to officials for the National Elections are now out of the system.
BankservAfrica measures South Africa’s take-home pay via the South African National Payments System in which salary ‘batches’ or pay runs are recorded for transactions between South African banks. The ndex then calculates the average salary and adjusts these for inflation and seasonal differences.