Brazilian retail sales fall 0.5 pct in July

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) — Brazilian retail sales, one of the country’s main economic drivers, fell 0.5 percent compared to the previous month, marking the third straight month of decline, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said on Thursday.

According to the report of IBGE, five of the eight major Brazilian commercial activities fell in July compared to June when the decline was 0.4 percent. In May the sector declined 1.4 percent.

“The job market is still complicated, the uncertainty surrounding the elections, all of this makes the consumer conservative and cautious, especially when it comes to purchasing goods that can be postponed and avoided,” IBGE manager of trade and services coordination Isabella Nunes said.

In comparison to July 2017, retail sales fell 1 percent, it was the first negative showing in the annual comparison following 15 months of increases.

In the year-to-date until July, retail sales showed an increase of 2.3 percent compared to the same period the year before.

According to the report, in the previous 12 months until July, there was a growth of 3.2 percent, down from the 3.6 percent in June.

The sectors that saw gains from sales were supermarkets, food products, drinks and tobacco (1.7 percent); fuel and lubricants (0.4 percent); and pharmaceutical, medical and orthopedic items along with perfumes and cosmetics (0.1 percent).

In contrast, the sectors with the worst results in July were furniture and home appliances with a decline of 4.8 percent; while office equipment and supplies, computer and communication fell 2.7 percent.

Personal and household items fell 2.5 percent, followed by textiles, clothing and footwear with a decline of 1 percent.

The decline in July sales shows the slow economic recovery. The largest South American economy rose 1.1 percent during the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2017. The forecast for 2018 economic growth is 1.5 percent.

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