Retail sales

Trade is back to growth in May, recording the biggest high in sales in the last 20 years

Section: Economic Statistics | Umberlândia Cabral

July 08, 2020 09h00 AM | Last Updated: July 09, 2020 01h44 PM

Adapatation to new strategies was a contributing factor to the retail growth - Photo: Tânia Rego/Agência Brasilia

The volume of retail sales grew 13.9% in May, the highest growth since the beginning of the time series, in January 2000. The increase was not enough for a recovery from the March-April loss, which reflected the effects of social isolation to control the Covid-19 pandemic. In the cumulative result for the year, the retail registered a drop of 3.9%. In the last 12 months, the scenario is for stability (0%). The data are from the Monthly Survey of Trade (PMC), released today (8) by the IBGE.

PMC manager, Cristiano Santos, says that the positive numbers appear after a month of the wort level ever registered in the time series  (-16.3%) "It was a big growth in percentage, but we must not forget that the comparison base was quite low. If we consider just the monthly indicator, we have a growth scenario, but looking at the other indicators, as comparing month over the same month a year a go, we see a scenario of decrease," he analyzes.

The survey points out a pace of decline due to the impact of social isolation on trade. Of all the enterprises covered by the survey, 18.1% reported that their revenue was impacted by social distancing in May. In April, that number was 28.1%, the biggest percentage since the beginning of the pandemic. Then, there is indication of growth in this companies activities.

"The wage bill had decrease of 7.3 billion in the last quarter, as pointed out by the Continuous PNAD. But in May there was also the share of the Christmas bonuses of the retire people and the emergency aid, which was already being granted for the second time. Those compensations are counted in the wage bill. So, several factors collaborated to this growth, as the increase of activities itself. Somehow, there was some impact in the physical stores opening and also an adaptation to a new way of running businesses, as delivery, for example", says Mr. Santos.

 All the eight activities observed in the retail trade recorded positive rates from April to May. Among those with the highest percentage growth are Fabric, apparel and footwear (100.6%), Furniture and household appliances (47.5%), Other articles of personal and domestic use (45.2%) and Books, newspapers, magazines and stationery (18.5%) The sales of Hypermarkets, supermarkets, food products, beverages and tobacco, decreasing in April, grew 7.1% in May.

The Extended Retail Trade, comprising the retail trade plus the activities of Vehicles, motorcycles, parts and pieces and Construction material, rose 19.6%, in relation to the April, recovering part of the losses of the two previous months.  The activities vehicles, motorcycles, parts and pieces grew 51.7%, whereas Construction material recorded 22.2%.

Sales advance in the 27 Federation Units

The 27 Federation Units had growth in the volume of sales of the retail trade from April to May. Among the greatest highlights are Rondônia (36.8%), Paraná (20.0%) and Goiás (19.4%). In the extended retail trade, the change was also positive in the 27 Federation Units, with a highlight to Rondônia (35.2%), Rio Grande do Sul (27.9%) and Espírito Santo (27.1%).

Retail Trade records decrease of 7.2% in comparison with May 2019

Compared with May 2019, the retail trade fell 7.2%, with negative rates in seven out of the eight activities. The greatest contribution in the negative sphere to the indicator came from the sector of Fabric, apparel and footwear, which fell 62.5%.

The sector of Hypermarkets, supermarkets, food products, beverages and tobacco was the only one to grow in the inter-annual indicator, with increase of 9.4%. The survey indicates that this result is due to the fact that the sector was considered an essential activity, which was the reason why its physical stores remained open in the quarantine.

Conversely, the sector of Pharmaceutical, medical and orthopedic goods and toiletries, which also accounts for essential goods, retreated 2.6% in the sales over May 2019, the second negative rate in a row. Even with its physical stores open in the quarantine, the sector recorded loss of pace.