I just wrote an important post at my blog about the regressing South African economy, and the risks this poses to the economy and the rand going forward.
Assuming the aggregated data below from Stats SA can be trusted, the following chart compiled by Econometrix displays this regression of the economy since 2004. Manufacturing output volume has only increased marginally since 2004, while retail sales volume has boomed more than 60%.
This is a disturbing trend as it indicates no new capital accumulation is happening in the producing sectors of the economy, and that the money that could be going toward capital accumulation is being spent on more instant gratification consumption items. In other words, South Africa is getting poorer, fast.