Venezuela: Car sales plunge to lowest level in over five years
January 14, 2014
In December, car sales plunged 63.9% over the same month of the previous year and reached just 2,959 units according to figures from the Venezuelan Automotive Chamber (CAVENEZ, Camara Automotriz de Venezuela). The reading follows a 51.1% decline in November and marks the sharpest drop since November 2008.
In the full year 2013, car sales reached just 98,878 units, which is well below the 130,553 units sold in 2012. In addition, the print marks the lowest level of units sold since July 2004. Car sales remain at just one-fifth of 491,899-unit peak recorded in the full year 2007. Extreme supply shortages following government restrictions on both assembly plants and importers have severely hampered sales of vehicles in recent years.
Given the limited availability of timely data for the real sector, analysts often use car sales as a proxy for private consumption. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to expand 0.5% this year, which is down 0.3 percentage points from the previous month's estimate. In 2015 the panel sees private consumption growth at 2.6%.