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Brazil’s retail sales unexpectedly fall

Jul 12 2016 15:47
Peter Millard

Rio de Janeiro - Brazil’s retail sales unexpectedly fell in May as Latin America’s largest economy struggles to emerge from its worst recession in decades.

Sales fell 1% in May after a revised 0.3% increase in the previous month, the national statistics agency said on Tuesday. The median estimate from 34 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 0.4% increase. Sales plunged 9% in May versus the same month in 2015.

Brazil’s 12-month consumer inflation currently runs at 8.8% while the country’s benchmark interest rate remains at a 10-year high, at the same time eating into Brazilians purchasing power and limiting their ability to finance the purchases of goods. The economy is expected to contract for second straight year before resuming growth in 2017. 

Six out of the eight sectors measured by the statistics agency posted lower sales in May from April, with personal and household goods falling 2.4% and pharmaceutical and cosmetics dropping 0.8%. Sales of food, beverages and tobacco products at hypermarkets and supermarkets were stable in May, after rising 1% in April.

Broad retail sales, which include cars, car parts, and construction materials, fell 0.4% from April, and 10.2% versus May last year, according to the statistics institute.

brazil  |  retail  |  economy
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