Monthly Survey of Trade

Sales hold steady, but sector loses pace in the first half of the year

Section: Economic Statistics | Adriana Saraiva

August 07, 2019 09h00 AM | Last Updated: August 07, 2019 10h59 AM

The sector of hypermarket contributed to the stability of trade in June - Photo: Eduardo Peret/IBGE News Agency

The volume of sales was stable in June, with a slight growth of 0.1%. Compared to June 2018, the sector fell 0.3%. Although the first half of the year was up 0.6%, trade in February lost pace, with a 12-month cumulative decline from 2.4% in that month to 1.1% in June.

These results are from the Monthly Survey of Trade, released today by the IBGE. The June index, compared to May, was influenced by the stability of hypermarkets (0.0%) and other articles (0.1%), which together account for about 60% of the result of the month.

However, sales in these activities have behaved differently. While hypermarkets show a loss of pace, with -0.3% in the first semester, other articles show growth of 4.4% in the period.


According to the survey manager, Isabella Nunes, the retail result reflects the economic downturn, the high level of unemployed persons, and the high household indebtedness, which is the highest since April 2016, according to Central Bank data.

“Families are avoiding installment purchase of durable goods like furniture and appliances, and consumption have been narrowed down to food. So the drop in hypermarkets doesn't mean families are no longer buying, but they are opting for cheaper items. In drugstores, you can't do that,” explains Isabella.

The semiannual result signals a slowdown in the volume of sales. Even with the fourth consecutive positive semiannual comparison of 0.6% in the first half, the sector shows decrease of pace  when compared to previous semesters: it grew 4.2% in the second half of 2017, 2.9% in the first half of 2018 and 1.7% in the second half of 2018.

Downturn in extended retail too

The extended retail trade, which includes the activities of vehicles and construction materials, after advancing for three months, also showed loss of pace in sales, remaining stable in June, as compared to May.

Against June 2018, the sector expanded 1.7% and accumulated a 3.2% gain in the first six months of 2019. The cumulative indicator in the last twelve months fell from 3.9% until May to 3.7 % until June.

“Although the labor market showed an increase in the employed population, this increase was in informal employment, which refers to lower income, has no benefits and no access to credit, so it did not bounce back in the retail” , concluded Isabella Nunes.

Keywords: Comércio, Hipermercados, Semestre, Junho.