Brazil: Annual retail sales decline for the first time in more than nine years
April 11, 2013
In February, retail sales (excluding cars and construction) fell 0.4% over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms. The reading contrasted both the 0.5% increase observed in January and market expectations of a stronger 1.5% rise. On an annual basis, retail sales fell 0.2% in February, which represents the first decline seen since November 2003 and contrasts the 5.9% rise tallied in January.
Among the eight categories that compose the narrow retail sales index, five decreased over the previous month. Most notably, sales in the other articles of personal and domestic use category as well as in the fuels and lubricants category recorded the steepest declines over the previous month. Meanwhile, the broad retail sales index, which includes automobiles and construction materials, fell 0.7% over the previous month (January: +0.3% month-on-month).
As a result of the annual February decrease, annual average growth in retail sales fell from 8.3% in January to 7.4% in February. Latin Focus Consensus Forecast panellists expect retail sales to expand 6.3% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel sees retail sales growing also 6.3%.