Brazil: Retail sales contract at sharpest pace on record in April
June 16, 2020
Retail sales dropped 16.8% month-on-month in seasonally-adjusted terms in April, which was a deterioration from March's 2.1% decrease. April's figure marked the worst reading on record and the decline was steeper than the 12.0% fall expected by market analysts.
April's decline largely reflected the impact of social distancing measures to contain the spread of coronavirus and came on the back of a sharp contraction in supermarkets, food, drinks and tobacco sales, which contrasted a modest expansion in March. Moreover, sales of textiles, clothing and footwear; other articles for household and personal use; and fuels and lubricants all fell more quickly in April. Meanwhile, furniture and appliances sales declined at a softer rate than in March.
On an annual basis, retail sales plummeted 16.8% in April, which was notably below March’s 1.1% fall. The print marked the worst result on record. Accordingly, the trend pointed down, with the annual average growth of retail sales coming in at 0.7%, down from March's 2.2% reading.
Author: Hanna Andersson, Economist