Average South African’s real income drops

After taking inflation into account, the average South African earned 1.5% less in December than in the same month in 2015.

December’s average monthly pay after taxes and other deductions was R14,102 and the median was R10,397, according to the BankservAfrica Disposable Salary Index (BDSI) released on Tuesday.

Ignoring inflation, South Africans on average received 5.1% more in December than the same month the previous year. But adjusted for inflation, December’s average pay came to R11,309 — 1.5% lower than R11,484 in December 2015.

“Real salary adjustments in December reflected the longest — and fastest — decline since the index started in 2011. Furthermore, this is the seventh consecutive month that salaries have fallen year-on-year in real terms,” BankservAfrica head of information services Caroline Belrose says.

“Employees in the South African formal sector have certainly not had anything to cheer about in 2016 — the weak rand and drought had a devastating impact on real incomes and expenses of employees and their families,” Economists.co.za chief economist Mike Schüssler says.

There was a silver lining in that there was a slight increase in the number of employees on the interbank payment system. This was 0.7% higher than in December 2015.

Like salaries, private pensions showed real-term declines year-on-year. The BankservAfrica Private Pensions Index of pensions that are paid into South African bank accounts showed a 1.7% year-on-year decline in real terms.

By Robert Laing for www.businesslive.co.za

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