JOHANNESBURG, May 17 (Reuters) - The South African rand slipped in early trade on Wednesday ahead of March retail sales data that could provide clues on the health of the local economy.

At 0650 GMT, the rand traded at 19.1000 against the dollar , around 0.12% weaker than its previous close.

The dollar was last trading up around 0.11% at 102.710 against a basket of global currencies as investors leaned towards the safe-haven asset as U.S. debt ceiling talks continue.

At 1100 GMT, Statistics South Africa will release retail sales data for March. Analysts polled by Reuters predict a 0.7% year-on-year decline.

The country faces its worst rolling blackouts on record, leaving households and businesses without power for up to 10 hours daily and crippling the economy. JP Morgan predicts a 0.2% contraction of the country's gross domestic product for 2023.

Analysts say power cuts could worsen during the southern hemisphere's winter months as state utility Eskom tries to keep the lights on.

Last week the rand hit an all-time low of 19.5100 against the dollar following record power cuts and allegations that South Africa shipped weapons for Russia.

"Panic has eased, but (South African) markets... are settling at levels worse than before last-week's run," Rand Merchant Bank analysts said in a research note.

"The impetus to break 19.00 (is) steadily failing," they added.

South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond was weaker in early deals, with the yield up 4.5 basis points to 10.800%. (Reporting by Tannur Anders; Editing by Bhargav Acharya and Barbara Lewis)