Brazil: Retail sales decline for the first time in six months
April 13, 2012
In February, retail sales (excluding cars and construction) fell 0.5% over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms. The reading contrasted the 3.3% increase observed in January and was below market expectations of a 0.3% decline. On an annual basis, retail sales expanded 9.6% in February, above the 7.8% rise in January. Among the eight categories that compose the narrow retail sales index, three decreased over the previous month. Most notably, sales in the textiles, apparel and footwear category recorded the largest drop over the previous month. Meanwhile, the broad retail sales index, which includes automobiles and construction materials, declined 1.1% over the previous month, with vehicle sales decreasing in February. Annual average growth in retail sales inched up from 6.6% in January to 6.7% in February.