Brazil: Retail sales fall for the second straight month in March
May 15, 2013
In March, retail sales (excluding cars and construction) inched down 0.1% over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms. The reading followed the 0.5% decline observed in February and overshot market expectations, which had retail sales falling at February's rate. On an annual basis, retail sales rebounded from a 0.2% decline in February, the first such decline in more than nine years, to a 4.4% expansion in March.
Among the eight categories that compose the narrow retail sales index, four decreased over the previous month. Most notably, sales in the office supplies category recorded the steepest decline over the previous month. On the other hand, sales in the clothing and footwear category registered the largest gain. Meanwhile, the broad retail sales index, which includes automobiles and construction materials, edged up 0.1% over the previous month (February: -0.7% month-on-month).
Annual average growth in retail sales fell from 7.4% in February to 6.8% in March. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panellists expect retail sales growth to decelerate further and to expand 5.6% this year, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel sees retail sales growing also 5.5%.