Brazil: Retail sales rebound at the beginning of the year
March 14, 2013
In January, retail sales (excluding cars and construction) rose 0.6% over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms. The reading contrasted the 0.4% decline observed in December and was above market expectations of a 0.4% rise. On an annual basis, retail sales expanded 5.9% in January, above both the 5.1% rise tallied in December and market expectations of a 5.5% increase.
Among the eight categories that compose the narrow retail sales index, six increased over the previous month. Most notably, sales in the office, computer and communication equipment category recorded the largest gain over the previous month. Meanwhile, the broad retail sales index, which includes automobiles and construction materials, nudged up 0.3% over the previous month (December: +0.8% month-on-month).
Despite the January increase, annual average growth in retail sales inched down from 8.4% in December to 8.3% in January. 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%.