By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilians spent more on Christmas this year, reflecting optimism for the country’s economy in the near future, according to data released on Wednesday by Brazil’s National Confederation of Shopkeepers (CNDL) and the Credit Protection Service (SPC Brazil).

Brazil,Growth of retail sales this Christmas season is the highest in four years.
Growth of retail sales this Christmas season is the highest in four years, photo by Fernando Frazão/Agencia Brasil.

The growth of 2.66 percent in relation to 2017, is the highest since 2014. “After a period of economic downturn, there is a positive outlook for the post-election scenario, which has encouraged many consumers to go shopping this Christmas,” says SPC Brasil’s chief economist, Marcela Kawauti.

The survey showed sales between December 4th and 24th, usually the most profitable period of the year for retail sales, injected approximately R$53.5 billion into the Brazilian economy. According to the survey the average spent on Christmas presents was around R$115.90.

Shopping centers also registered a strong increase in sales, growing by 5.5 percent over the previous year, according to a survey by the Brazilian Association of Shopping Merchants (Alshop). The entity has over 400 member companies that encompass over 30,000 points of sale distributed throughout the country.

“The Christmas of the Brazilian family necessarily includes the purchase of gifts,” explained Alshop President, Nabil Sahyoun.

According to Alshop, the segments that grew the most during this Christmas season were perfumes and cosmetics (8.0 percent), glasses, jewelry and accessories (8.0 percent), and toys (8.0 percent).

Popular segments such as cell phones and smartphones (6.0 percent), clothing (1.6 percent), and electronics (5.0 percent) grew slightly less.

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