Brazil: Retail sales continue to expand in December
February 14, 2012
In December, retail sales (excluding cars and construction) expanded 0.3% over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms. The reading was below the 1.2% increase observed in November but exceeded market expectations of a more moderate 0.1% rise. On an annual basis, retail sales expanded 6.7% in December, maintaining the pace from the previous month. Among the eight categories that compose the narrow retail sales index, five increased over the previous month. Most notably, sales in the office, computer and communication equipment category recorded the largest expansion over the previous month. Meanwhile, the broad retail sales index, which includes automobiles and construction materials, rose 1.6% over the previous month, with both vehicle and construction sales increasing in December. In the full year 2011, retail sales expanded a solid 6.7%, which was below the 10.9% increase recorded in 2010.