Brazil: Retail sales flat in May
July 11, 2013
In May, retail sales (excluding cars and construction) were flat over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms. The reading was below the 0.6% growth observed in April (previously reported: +0.5% month-on-month) but overshot market expectations, which had retail sales declining 0.4%. On an annual basis, retail sales expanded 4.5% in May, above the 1.6% growth rate tallied in April.
Among the eight categories that compose the narrow retail sales index, five decreased over the previous month, whereas the remaining three edged up higher. Most notably, sales in the pharmaceutical and medical articles category as well as in the clothing and footwear category recorded the largest losses over the previous month. On the other hand, sales in the food, beverages and tobacco category improved the most over the same period. Meanwhile, the broad retail sales index, which includes automobiles and construction materials, fell 0.8% over the previous month (April: +1.4% month-on-month).
Annual average growth in retail sales fell from 6.4% in April to 6.1% in May, the lowest level since December 2009. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panellists expect retail sales growth to decelerate further and to expand 5.1% this year, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel sees retail sales growing 5.4%.