Despite inflationary pressures, retail posts surprising rise

retail Shop in Salvador. Photo: Joa Souza/Shutterstock
Shop in Salvador. Photo: Joa Souza/Shutterstock

Data on Brazil’s core retail sales — not including vehicles — saw 1.1-percent growth in February from the previous month, up 1.3 percent from the same month last year. Revenue jumped 2.3 and 14.3 percent in the monthly and yearly comparisons, respectively.

The results far exceeded expectations. Market data firm Refinitiv predicted a 0.1-percent monthly increase in core sales.

With February’s numbers, the sector is now 1.2 percent above pre-pandemic levels, and 4.9 percent below its October 2020 peak — when emergency aid benefits boosted consumption. 

Six of the eight surveyed retail segments enjoyed positive results in February. Notable performances came from the publishing and stationery sector, as well as fuel and lubricant vendors — who benefited from the recent fuel price hikes.Rising inflation and high unemployment haven’t deterred consumers, despite eroding consumer confidence and income. But analysts believe these factors will soon push results down.