By Matthew Elliott, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The volume of retail sales in the country grew by 1.9 percent in July in the strongest national return since January 2012, according to data disclosed Thursday by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Revenue figures were up two percent, reflecting progress in the governmental policy of encouraging consumption, government officials say.

July Sales Show Consumer Recovery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
For Finance Minister Guido Mantega, sales results from July show consumers are recovering, photo by Antônio Cruz/ABr.

In the twelve months since July 2012, sales have increased by 5.4 percent, while revenue has seen a 12.2 percent rise. The increases were spread across the nation with only the small state of Acre, showing negative results compared to the same period last year.

Compared to June, the volume of sales was positive in 21 Brazilian states. The strongest were Mato Grosso do Sul (6.0 percent increase), São Paulo (3.2 percent increase), Rio de Janeiro (2.6 percent increase), Rio Grande do Sul (2.6 percent increase) and Santa Catarina (2.5 percent increase).

The largest decreases were registered in Roraima (-1.4 percent), Mato Grosso (-1.4 percent) and Tocantins (-0.9 percent).

Finance Minister, Guido Mantega, said that the results demonstrate that there is a recovery in consumption underway in the country.

“It shows that the fall in inflation is already enabling the consumer to have more purchasing power. Lending is also improving a little bit and this is reflected in these excellent retail sales.”

Of all the activities researched by the IBGE, eight saw significant increases in sales volume compared to the previous month, especially textiles, clothing and footwear at 5.4 percent. Furniture sales saw the largest annual increase at 11 percent, which the IBGE attributed to the maintenance of tax rates.

The results are a welcome addition to news that the manufacturing sector has experienced better-than-expected growth. Wider economic projections, however, remain low in a year which has seen the real plummet and concerns over inflation.

Read more (in Portuguese).

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