Brazil: Retail sales rebound in March
May 11, 2018
Retail sales (excluding cars and construction) rose a moderate 0.3% from the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms in March, which contrasted February’s 0.2% decrease. The result matched market analysts’ expectations and capped off a weak first quarter.
March’s upturn was largely due to a rebound in sales of fuels after four consecutive months of declines. In addition, sales of pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetic articles also rose.
On an annual basis, retail sales increased 6.5% in March, a notable improvement from February’s 1.5% expansion and the best result since April 2014. The recent improvement in Brazil’s economy is more visible when examining the trend, and annual average growth continued to improve in March, coming in at 3.7%, the best result since July 2014 (February: +2.9%).
Brazil Retail Sales Forecast
Panelists participating in this month’s LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect retail sales to increase 3.1% in 2018, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2019, the panel sees retail sales growing 3.6%.