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JOHANNESBURG, May 17 (Reuters) - South African retail sales rose by 0.8 percent year-on-year in March, beating market expectations of a contraction, after falling by 1.6 percent in February, data from the statistics office showed on Wednesday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.7 percent year-on-year contraction in March.
On a month-on-month basis, sales inched up by 0.3 percent but were down 1 percent in the three months to March compared with the same period last year, Statistics South Africa said. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by James Macharia)