Brazil: Retail sales fall in February
Retail sales (excluding cars and construction) fell 0.2% from the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms in February, which contrasted January’s revised 0.8% increase (previously reported: +0.9% month-on-month). The result contrasted market analysts’ expectations of a 0.8% expansion.
February’s downturn was largely due to a decline in sales of food, beverages and tobacco. In addition, sales of clothing and footwear also fell at a marked pace.
On an annual basis, retail sales increased 1.3% in February, which was below January’s 3.2% growth. The recent improvement in Brazil’s economy is more visible when examining the trend, and annual average growth continued to improve in February, coming in at 2.8%, the best result since October 2014 (January: +2.5%).