Brazil: July retail sales reach 18-month high, beat expectations
September 12, 2013
In July, retail sales (excluding cars and construction) increased 1.9% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, marking the strongest reading since January 2012. The increase was above the 0.4% rise registered in June, and defied market expectations, which saw retail sales growth slipping to 0.2%. On an annual basis, retail sales expanded 6.0% in July, well above the 1.6% growth rate registered in June.
Seven of the eight categories that compose the narrow retail sales index increased. The largest gain over the previous month was seen in sales of textiles, clothing and footwear. Sales of office equipment and computers, as well as items for personal and household use, also registered significant gains. Meanwhile, the broad retail sales index, which includes automobiles and construction materials, rose 0.6% over the previous month (June: 0.9% month-on-month).
Annual average growth in retail sales fell from 5.5% in June to 5.4% in July, which is the lowest level recorded since November 2009. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panelists expect growth in retail sales to decelerate further, expanding 5.1% this year, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel sees retail sales growing 5.4%.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist