After two negative months — representing the worst holiday season in 20 years — Brazilian retail grew in February, up 0.6 percent from January. The sector is now on par with September 2020 levels and 0.4 percent above the pre-pandemic period, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics.
“The average revenue among low-income families increased 130 percent with the coronavirus emergency salary. That made the May-October 2020 period very good for retailers — which raised 6.5 percent more money than before the pandemic,” said Cristiano Soares, the survey’s manager.
The growth in February is less about good monthly performance and rather a statement on how bad January was for the sector. “That’s the month when families pay vehicle and housing taxes, which make them consume less,” said Mr. Soares.
“Late in the year, handouts were halved and ended after December — which reduced consumption,” he added, highlighting that it remains to be seen how recent restrictions on non-essential businesses will impact results for March.