Retail falls again in October and signals weak end-of-year performance

retail volume sales
Photo: Alf Ribeiro/Shutterstock

Brazil’s retail sector entered the final quarter of 2021 in decline. After contracting 4.1 percent in August and 1.1 percent in September, the sector’s sales volume fell 0.1 percent in October, according to data released on Wednesday by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

Regarding the sales volume of vehicles and construction material, the reduction was an even steeper 0.9 percent. In a 12-month comparison, retail figures are 7.1 percent down.

“The result shows some stability in the month of October, but it’s not something very positive at the moment, because the sector has already experienced two declines, so it’s stabilization at a lower level,” said Rodolpho Tobler, coordinator of the think tank FGV-Ibre’s commerce survey.

The result — worse than previously predicted by market analysts — was influenced by factors such as high inflation, rising interest rates, and the greater indebtedness of Brazilian families. For specialists, sector performance should remain weak through December, even with the seasonal uptick of the holiday season.