Brazil: Retail sales decline for the first time since February 2013
February 13, 2014
In December, retail sales (excluding cars and construction) decreased 0.2% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms. The result contrasted both the 0.6% rise registered in November and market expectations of a 0.3% increase. Moreover, this was the first fall in retail sales since February 2013. On an annual basis, retail sales expanded 3.9% in December, which was below the 7.1% growth rate registered in November.
Four of the eight categories that compose the narrow retail sales index decreased over the previous month, led by a massive drop in the office equipment and computers category. Meanwhile, the broad retail sales index, which includes automobiles and construction materials, fell 1.5% over the previous month (November: +0.9% month-on-month).
Annual average growth in retail sales fell from 4.4% in November to 4.3% in December, which marked the lowest level since June 2004.
LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panelists expect growth in retail sales to expand 4.2% in 2014, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2015, the panel sees retail sales growing 3.7%.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist