Venezuela: Car sales contract for fourth consecutive month
April 4, 2013
In March, car sales dropped 21.0% over the same month last year to reach 12,039 units, according to figures from the Venezuelan Automotive Chamber (CAVENEZ, Camara Automotriz de Venezuela). The reading marks the fourth monthly drop in a row but still represents a slight improvement compared to the 30.8% contraction tallied in February.
Building on the monthly figure, car sales added 122,948 units in the 12 months up to March, which is down 4.0% from the level observed in the same period last year (February: +2.5% year-on-year). Accordingly, car sales remain 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 following 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%.