Brazil: August retail sales slow, but exceed expectations
October 15, 2013
In August, retail sales (excluding cars and construction) increased 0.9% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms. The increase was below the 2.1% rise registered in July, but defied market expectations of a 0.1% drop. On an annual basis, retail sales expanded 6.2% in August, above the 6.0% growth rate registered in July.
Six of the eight categories that compose the narrow retail sales index increased. The largest gain over the previous month was seen in sales of office equipment and computers. Sales of pharmaceuticals and electronics registered the next largest gains. Meanwhile, the broad retail sales index, which includes automobiles and construction materials, rose 0.6% over the previous month (July: 0.6% month-on-month).
Annual average growth in retail sales fell from 5.4% in July to 5.1% in August, which is the lowest level recorded since October 2009. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panelists expect growth in retail sales to decelerate further, expanding 4.0% this year, which is down 0.3 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel sees retail sales growing 4.0%, which is down 0.9 percentage points from last month's estimate.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist