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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s retail sales closed the month of August in negative territory, with a decline of 0.6 percent in volume and -0.5 percent in revenues, compared to July, according to data by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

Food, beverage and tobacco were the only segments which registered a growth in sales during August,  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Food, beverage and tobacco were the only segments which registered a growth in sales during August, photo courtesy of Agência Brasil.
“The worsening of the labor market, the acceleration of prices and the continuing high interest rates … all those inhibit retail purchases. Everything you can postpone or replace ends up being impacted, “said Isabella Nunes, Services and Trade manager at IBGE.

With the results of August, retail sales closed the first eight months of the year with a cumulative decline of 6.6 percent in volume, while the nominal revenues closed in positive territory, with an expansion of 5.1 percent compared to the first eight months of 2015.

In comparison to August of 2015, the volume of retail sales in the country fell by 5.5 percent this year, the 17th consecutive decline for this type of comparison.

The extended retail sales indicator (which includes vehicle sales and construction material) showed even more disappointing results registering a negative growth of two percent in volume and 1.2 percent in revenues, compared to July 2016, the seasonally adjusted series.

Six of the eight retail activities surveyed registered declines, especially in office equipment and material, and computer and communication equipment which declined by five percent.

Other items registering declines include pharmaceutical, medical, orthopedic and perfumery products (-2.8 percent); furniture and appliances (-2.1 percent); books, newspapers, magazines and stationery (-2.1 percent); and fuels and lubricants (2 percent).

The food, beverage and tobacco segment, which has a greater weight on the indicator, registered a growth of 0.8 percent in August in relation to July, partly offsetting the decline of the other segments. Clothing and footwear sales were stable from July to August.

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