Venezuela: Car sales continue to free fall
March 7, 2013
In February, car sales dropped 30.8% over the same month last year to reach 8,058 units, according to figures from the Venezuelan Automotive Chamber (CAVENEZ, Camara Automotriz de Venezuela). The reading represents a further deterioration compared to the 12.9% contraction tallied in January.
Building on the monthly figure, car sales added 126,152 units in the 12 months up to February, which is up 2.5% from the level observed in the same period last year (January: +7.1% year-on-year). The reading, however, remains well below the peak of 491,899 units recorded in the full year 2007. Car sales have been subdued since 2007 due to severe supply shortages amid government restrictions on assembly plants and importers.
Given the limited availability of timely data on the real sector, analysts use car sales as a proxy for private consumption. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panellists expect private consumption to increase 0.5% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points over the previous month's estimate. Next year the panel sees private consumption growth at 1.7%.