Venezuela: Car sales remain weak in January
February 6, 2013
In January, car sales dropped 12.9% over the same month last year to reach 5,542 units, according to figures from the Venezuelan Automotive Chamber (CAVENEZ, Camara Automotriz de Venezuela). The reading, nevertheless, represents an improvement compared to the 31.2% contraction tallied in December, which had marked the sharpest fall since March 2010.
Building on the monthly figure, car sales added 129,731 units in the 12 months up to January, which is up 7.1% from the level observed in the same period last year (December: +8.2% year-on-year). The reading, however, remains well below the peak of 491,899 units recorded in the full year 2007. Car sales have been subdued since 2007 due to severe supply shortages amid government restrictions on assembly plants and importers.
Given the limited availability of timely data on the real sector, analysts use car sales as a proxy for private consumption.