Brazil: Retail sales decline at sharpest rate in over a year in January
March 24, 2020
Retail sales, excluding cars and construction, fell 1.0% in seasonally-adjusted month-on-month terms in January, worsening from the revised 0.5% decline in December (previously reported: -0.1% month-on-month). The figure disappointed analysts’ who had expected a softer 0.6% fall and represented the worst performance for the retail sector since December 2018.
January’s decline was the result of falling supermarket, food, beverage and tobacco sales and a sharp drop in sales of fuel and lubricants amid low global oil prices. Moreover, furniture and household appliance retailers posted falling sales, while sales of office equipment and supplies, IT and communication also declined in the month. Conversely, higher sales of clothing and footwear; medical supplies and pharmaceuticals; and books and other stationery goods offset the drop.
On an annual basis, retail sales growth weakened notably to 1.4% from 2.7%. Meanwhile, annual average growth in retail sales ticked down to 1.8% in January from1.9% in December.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist