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Monthly Survey of Trade

Retail sales grow 3.4% and reach a record in August

Section: Economic Statistics | Carmen Nery

October 08, 2020 09h00 AM | Last Updated: October 08, 2020 04h48 PM

Retail trade of fabric, wearing apparel and footwear led rising results in August, with 30.5% - Photo: Cláudio Vieira/PMSJC

Retail trade grew 3.4% in August, against the July figure, the fourth month straight increase, after decreases due to the pandemic in March and April. With this result, the sector reaches the highest sales level since 2000, being 2.6% above the previous record, of October 2014. Data comes from the Monthly Survey of Trade, released today (8) by the IBGE.

In comparison with data of August 2019, trade grew by 6.1%, its third straight positive result. Considering the cumulative index in the year, the sector registered a lower pace of decrease (-0.9%), whereas in the last 12 months it increased by 0.5%, after three months of stability. 

“Retail had its worst moment, with the indicator 18.7% below the February level, in the pre-pandemic period. Those figures decreased gradually in the months that followed, upt to August, when the sector stayed at 8.2% in February,” Cristiano Santos, manager of the survey, explains. 

Five of the eight activities surveyed recorded increases from July to August. Among those with the biggest increases are fabric, wearing apparel and footwear (30.5%), other personal and domestic articles (10.4%), furniture and household appliances (4.6%), office, computer and communication material and equipment (1.5%) and fuels and lubricants (1.3%).

The survey manager also says that factors such as the rise of income due to the emergency aid and the rise of prices have also influenced the performance of retail, mainly the sector of hypermarkets, supermarkets, food products, beverages and tobacco, which fell by 2.2% from July to August, as an effect of food inflation.

“Supermarket products have a kind of elasticity, as a more expensive brand can be replaced by a cheaper one, but the consumer will still buy it. Supermarkets are still close to the margin, despite the decrease, differences seem less significant than in other activities,” Mr. Santos explains, as he adds that the increase of sales of furniture and household appliances may be a consequence of the extra income due to emergency aid, used by families for the replacement of older products.

The other sectors recording decreases were pharmaceuticals, medical and orthopedic articles, toiletries and cosmetics (-1.2%) and books, newspapers and stationery (-24.7%).

Extended retail records increase of 4.6% in August

Volume of sales of extended retail trade, which includes the activities of vehicles, motorcycles, parts and pieces and construction material, increased by 4.6% against July, with a reduced pace of decrease in relation to the previous month (7.1%). Vehicles, motorycles, parts and pieces increased by 8.8% and construction material registered an increase of 3.6%, both, respectively, after results of 12.3% and 5.9% in the previous month.

Against August 2019, there was an increase of 3.9%, the second straight positive rate. In terms of the cumulative index in the year, extended retail decreased 5%. The cumulative index in 12 months, with a change from -1.9% to -1.7% up to August, and also had slight decrease in sales.

Results for two-month periods have record increases for retail and extended retail

Retail trade increased 11.3% in the fourth two-month period of 2020 in relation to the previous period, and the second consecutive increase, and the highest in the time series for this comparison. The cumulative increase of 11.3% in July and August surpassed the 6.9% registered in the two previous months. Tha figure surpassed, in terms of magnitude, the result of -10.3% of March and April, the peak of social distancing.

All the activities, except for hypermarkets, supermarkets, food products and tobacco (-1,0%), recorded increases in this comparison: fuel and lubricants (9,7%), fabric, wearing apparel and footwear (78.6%), furniture and household appliances (21.7%), pharmaceuticals, medical and orthopedic articles and toiletries (10.5%), books, newspapers, magazines and stationery (37.7%), office and computer material and equipment (22.2%) and other personal and domestic articles (25.3%).

Extended retail trade also registered increases for the second two-month period, of 15.6%, a record in the time series, although it did not surpass, in terms of magnitude, the -21.5% registered in the second two-month period of 2020. In terms of sectors, both vehicles and motorcycles, parts and pieces (31.9%) and construction material (13.8%) recorded increases for two periods in a row.

Retail sales increase in 25 of the 27 Federation Units

The volume of retail sales was positive in 25 of the 27 Federation Units, with a highlight to Acre (15.6%), Rondônia (12.8%) and Amapá (12,1%). Being negativelly affected are Tocantins (-2.4%) and Rio Grande do Sul (-0.2%). In extended retail trade, there was a predominance of positive results in 26 of the 27 Federation Units, with a highlight to Piauí (20.2%), Acre (12.6%) and Sergipe (9.6%). The negative result was that of Roraima (-1.4%).

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