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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The retail sector in Brazil registered last year the worst decline in sales since the historic data series started, in 2001. According to Brazil’s IBGE (Statistics Bureau), retail sales fell by 4.3 percent in 2015. Data for the expanded survey shows that the segment which registered the highest decline was automobile sales (-17.8 percent).

Retail Sales in Brazil Register Worst Results Since 2001, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
The segment of supermarkets, food, beverages and tobacco declined by 2.5 percent, photo by Marcelo Camargo/ABr.

Other segments with the largest retractions were; furniture and household appliances (-14 percent), books, newspapers and paper products (-10.9 percent) and clothing and shoes (-8.7 percent). The segment of supermarkets, food, beverages and tobacco declined by 2.5 percent.

The only segment that registered a positive growth result last year was the segment of pharmaceutical goods, with a growth in sales of 3.0 percent.

According to analysts the results were disappointing because the growth in sales expected for December did not occur. The Brazilian Association of Shopping Mall Store Owners (ALSHOP) forecast that the retraction in Christmas sales in 2015 was probably the worst in ten years registering a decline by 2.7 percent in sales in relation to November and a reduction of 7.1 percent in sales volumes in relation to December of 2014.

With the deterioration of economic indexes and forecasts of more financial turbulence in 2016, a study by the National Association of Executives of Finances, Administration and Accounting (ANEFAC), showed that that 74 percent of workers receiving their Christmas bonuses in 2015 would spend most of the extra income paying off credit cards, overdue bills and bank loans.

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