Venezuela Retail


Venezuela: Car sales record softest decline in nine months in September

October 8, 2014

Annual car sales tumbled 74.9% over the same month last year and reached 1,917 units in September, according to figures from the Venezuelan Automotive Chamber (CAVENEZ, Camara Automotriz de Venezuela). The reading followed the 79.8% decline recorded in August. Despite the dismal performance, which drove the indicator to register the ninth consecutive month of contractions exceeding 70%, September’s print marked the softest fall since December 2013.

In the 12 months up to September, car sales reached just 30,347 units, which was 73.2% lower than in the same period last year (August: -68.7% year-on-year) and marked the lowest level of units sold since records began in 1997. Car sales currently total just a fraction of the peak of 491,899 units recorded in the calendar year 2007. Extreme supply shortages due to government restrictions on both assembly plants and importers have severely hampered sales of vehicles in recent years.

Meanwhile, the government and the Central Bank continued not to deliver relevant economic data for several indicators, including the scarcity index, estimates for GDP, balance of payments and external debt.

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 decline 2.7% this year, which is down 0.2 percentage points from the previous month’s estimate. In 2015 the panel sees private consumption growth at 0.6%.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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Venezuela Retail Chart

Venezuela Retail September 2014

Note: Year-on-year variation and 12-month sum of domestic car sales in thousand units.
Source: Venezuelan Automobile Chamber (CAVENEZ).

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