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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Not even the strong appeal of Mother’s Day helped retail sales results in Brazil, according to the country’s official statistics bureau, IBGE. In May, according to the bureau, retail volumes fell by one percent in comparison to April and the accumulated decline in the first five months of the year is of 7.3 percent.

Brazil,Supermarkets were among the only two sectors which did not register a decline in sales in May,
Supermarkets were among the only two sectors which did not register a decline in sales in May, photo by Omar Freire/Imprensa MG/ Fotos Publicas.

IBGE analysts, however, note that the interesting aspect of the data is that despite the one percent drop in volumes, retail sales only declined by 0.1 percent in relation to nominal revenues, in May in comparison to April.

For analysts the result shows that although the economy is still weak, retailers increased their prices, trying to compensate the on-going decline in volumes.

According to the IBGE six of the eight retail sectors analyzed registered a negative result in May in comparison to April. Among the sectors showing the biggest losses in retail volumes were personal and domestic goods (-2.4 percent) and furniture and home appliances (-1.3 percent).

The only sector that registered a positive result in May was the sector for clothing and footwear, which registered a growth of retail sales of 1.5 percent. The sector of supermarkets, food products, beverages and tobacco, with the largest participation on the general retail sales index, remained stable during the month (0.0 percent).

The latest IBGE data on retail sales is in line with a survey released last week by Serasa Experian that showed a decline of 8.3 percent in sales in the first semester of 2016 the result is the worst performance for a first semester since 2002.

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