Brazil: Retail sales disappoint in November
January 15, 2020
Retail sales, excluding cars and construction, increased 0.6% from the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms in November, up from October’s 0.1% increase but notably underwhelming market analysts who had expected Black Friday sales to boost growth to 1.2%.
The uptick in November was driven by stronger furniture and appliance spending—boosted by Black Friday promotions—and increased pharmaceutical and medical sales. Conversely, sales of clothing and footwear; books and other stationary goods; and fuels and lubricants fell in November.
On an annual basis, retail sales growth eased to 2.9% in November from 4.2% in October. Meanwhile, annual average growth in retail sales softened to 1.6% in November from 1.8% in October.
November’s result, suggests that while private consumption growth will likely have continued to buoy growth in Q4 following the positive Q3 GDP outturn, consumer dynamics remain soft. Alberto Ramos and Gabriel Fritsch, economists at Goldman Sachs, noted that looking ahead, “the outlook for private consumption and retail sales is moderately positive […] but still significant slack in the labor market and subdued consumer confidence may limit the buoyancy of private consumption and retail sales.”
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist