Venezuela Retail March 2016


Venezuela: Car sales plummet to a record low in March

April 13, 2016

Car sales recorded a massive 94.3% contraction over the same month of the previous year and totaled 217 units in March, according to figures from the Venezuelan Automotive Chamber (CAVENEZ, Cámara Automotriz de Venezuela). March’s print came in below February’s 75.1% contraction and marked the lowest reading on record.

In the 12 months up to March, car sales reached 13,868 units, which is the lowest print on record. March’s result represented a sharp 47.3% decline over the same period last year and the biggest contraction since June. Car sales currently total just a small fraction of the peak of 491,899 units recorded in calendar 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. Panelists participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect private consumption to decline 5.9% in 2016, which is down 0.7 percentage points from the previous month’s estimate. In 2017, the panel sees private consumption rising 0.2%.

Author: Jean-Philippe Pourcelot, Economist

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Venezuela Retail Chart

Venezuela Retail March 2016

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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