Brazilian retail sales fall by 0.7% in February; a worse-than-expected decline

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Retail sales started the year with a fall of 0.7% by volume and 0.8% in nominal revenue, in relation to December, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). This is the second negative month for the volume of sales, after an increase of 0.9% in November last year. 

In comparison with January 2016, the volume of Brazilian retail sales retreated 7.0%, marking the 22 consecutive negative result for this indicator. In the 12-month measure, sales fell by 5.9%, maintaining it negative sequence since May 2015. Concerning nominal revenue, there was a fall of 2.3% in relation to January 2016, and an increase of 4.2% in the 12-month measure.

Expanded retail figures

Expanded retail figures, which, in addition to normal retail sales, include cars, motorbikes and their parts in addition to construction materials, fell in relations to last month, adjusting for seasonality. The volume of sales fell 0.2% while nominal revenues fell 0.9%. In relation to the January 2016, expanded figures fell 4.8% by volume and 1.7% in the nominal measurement.

In the 12-month measure, the fall was -7.9% and -0.4 for the volume of sales and nominal revenues, respectively.

Sales fall in seven out of eight categories

From December to January, seven out of eight of the activities included in the research were negative. By categories: equipment and office materials, information technology and communication slumped -4.8%; fuels and lubricants dropped -4.4%; books, newspapers, magazines and stationery fell -1.9%; other articles of personal use and household goods decreased by -1.8%; pharmaceutical, medical, orthopaedic articles, perfumery and cosmetics shrunk -1.1%; and furniture and appliances contracted by -0.1%.

On the other hand, hypermarts, supermarkets, and food products, beverages and tobacco, increased and was close to stability (0.2%) while fabrics, clothing and footwear, came in at 4.1% after their result was influenced by sales.

Expanded retail trade fell by 0.2, after the -0.1% registered in the previous month. January was influenced by stability in the sales of include cars, motorbikes (0.3%), while construction materials fell by 0.8% after an advance of 2.2% the month before.

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