Venezuela Retail


Car sales decline eases slightly in May

Annual car sales continued to plummet in May, although they did improve somewhat compared to the previous month. Sales plunged 76.3% over the same month last year and reached 2,637 units according to figures from the Venezuelan Automotive Chamber (CAVENEZ, Camara Automotriz de Venezuela). The reading followed the 89.8% decline recorded in April and marked the softest decline in five months.

In the 12 months up to May, car sales reached just 56,477 units, which was 54.9% lower than in the same period last year (April: -48.3% year-on-year) and marked the lowest print since records began in 1997. Car sales currently total just a fraction of the peak of 491,899-units recorded in the full year 2007. Extreme supply shortages due to government restrictions on both assembly plants and importers have severely hampered sales of vehicles in recent years.

Given the limited availability of timely data for the real sector, analysts often use car sales as a proxy for private consumption. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to decline 0.6% this year, which is down 0.2 percentage points from the previous month’s estimate. In 2015 the panel sees private consumption growth at 2.6%.

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Venezuela Retail Chart

Venezuela Retail May 2014

Note: Year-on-year variation and 12-month sum of domestic car sales in thousand units.
Source: Venezuelan Automobile Chamber (CAVENEZ).

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