Brazilian retail has worst month in 17 years

Brazilian retail has worst month in 17 years
Photo: Nelson Antoine/Shutterstock

Retail sales dropped 2.5 percent in March in comparison with the previous month, recording its worst result since 2003 and third-worst in history. The numbers could have been even worse if it were not for a 14.6-percent bump in sales for supermarkets and the food and beverage industry. Medications and cosmetics also performed better, registering a growth of 1.3 percent. 

In comparison to March 2019, this year’s sales were down 1.2 percent, the first year-on-year drop in 11 months.

Retail sales closed Q1 2020 below Q4 2019 levels. It’s important to remember that Brazil only started to enforce social isolation measures late in March — meaning that April and May should be even more daunting months for retailers.