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Monthly Survey of Trade

Retail sales change -0.1% in December, grow 1.4% in 2021

Section: Economic Statistics | Cristiane Crelier

February 09, 2022 09h00 AM | Last Updated: February 09, 2022 04h11 PM

Volume of sales of Furniture and domestic appliances dropped 17.6% between November and December and 7.0% in the year - Photo: Helena Pontes/IBGE News Agency

Sales of the retail trade changed -0.1% in December, yet they closed the year of 2021 accumulating a growth of 1.4% in relation to 2020. Therefore, 2021 was the fifth consecutive year of positive figures for volume of sales in the retail. The result was very close to the two previous years, which registered a rise of 1.2% (2020) and of 1.8% (2019). 2016 was the last year that accumulated losses in relation to the previous year (-6.2%).

The data are from the Monthly Survey of Trade (PMC), released today (9) by the IBGE. The retail had been growing in the first part of 2021 (6.7%), but it recorded a sequence of drops in the second semester, which ended with a retreat of 3.0%. The behavior was the reverse in relation to 2020, which dropped in the first semester (-3.2%) and rose in the second one (5.1%).

“As the first semester of 2020 was marked by the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil, which caused the retail to close doors during several months in most parts of the country, the comparison basis for the first semester of 2021 was low and, thus, a growth was expected in this period. The second half of 2020 was marked by the upturn of the activities, while the same period of 2021 was weak in terms of volume of sales in the retail,” explains Cristiano Santos, manager of the survey.


Five sectors closed the second semester with a drop: Furniture and domestic appliances (-19,.%), Books, newspapers, magazines and stationery (-9.7%), Office, computer and communication equipment and material (-8.6%), Fuels and lubricants (-3.1%) and Hypermarkets, supermarkets, food products, beverages and tobacco (-2.6%). Of them, four closed 2021 with a retraction: Books, newspapers, magazines and stationery (-16.9%), Furniture and domestic appliances (-7.0%), Hypermarkets, supermarkets, food products, beverages and tobacco (-2.6%) and Office, computer and communication equipment and material (-2.0%).

“The activity of Furniture and domestic appliances also dropped between November and December (-17.6%). The activity registered seven consecutive months of negative figures in the inter-annual comparison, as well as exerted the greatest impact (-1.8 percentage points) on the overall retail for the year. The loss of 7.0% over 2020 reverses the upward trend (10.6%) recorded between 2019 and 2020 in relation to 2019,” highlights Santos.

According to the researcher, that segment still faces difficulties to adapt to the rearrangement in the consumption that occurred for these products as a result of the pandemic.

“Consumers anticipated purchases, which resulted in a quick growth followed by a drop. Besides that shift in the consumption, that sector is affected by the rise in the dollar and by the reduction of the income and, thus, by the purchasing power of the population,” assesses him.

On the other hand, Pharmaceutical and medical goods, cosmetic and toilet articles (4.3%), Fabric, apparel and footwear (3.8%) and Other articles of personal and domestic use (0.7%) registered positive figures in the comparison with the second semester of 2020. And those activities also ended the year with positive figures (9.8%, 13.8% and 12.7%, respectively), as well as Fuels and lubricants (0.3%).

“All in all, volume of sales in the retail gets close to the pre-pandemic level. Some sectors are quite above it, as the case of Pharmaceuticals, which rises for five years. In contrast, the activities of Books, newspapers, magazines and stationery and of Office, computer and communication equipment and material are still well below it,” indicates Cristiano Santos.


The extended retail, which includes Vehicles, motorcycles, parts and pieces and Construction material, ended 2021 with a cumulative growth of 4.5%, offsetting the loss of 1.4% registered in 2020. In the seasonally-adjusted series, volume of sales in the extended retail changed 0.3% between November and December 2021.

“Inflation still has an impact on indicators, since the change in nominal revenue of retail sales is positive (0.3%) between November and December,” concludes Santos.

Sales drop in 21 Federation Units in the annual comparison

Between November and December 2021, the national average rate of sales of the retail trade of -0.1% was followed by a predominance of negative figures in 19 out of 27 Federation Units, highlighted by: Mato Grosso (-4.7%), Acre (-4.5%) and Rondônia (-4.3%). 

The positive side registers eight Federation Units, highlighted by: Tocantins (1.3%), Santa Catarina (0.8%) and Espírito Santo (0.6%).

Compared with December 2020, the change was of -2.9%, with a predominance of negative figures in 21 Federation Units, highlighted by: Bahia (-12.9%), Pernambuco (-11.4%) and Sergipe (-11.1%). In contrast, the following states pressed positively: Mato Grosso do Sul (4.1%), Rio Grande do Sul (3.8%) and Espírito Santo (3.8%).

More about the survey

The Monthly Survey of Trade (PMC) produces indicators to follow up the short-term behavior of the retail trade in Brazil, investigating the gross revenue in formal enterprises with 20 or more employed persons and whose major activity is retail trade.

Having started in 1995, the PMC brings monthly results of changes in sales volume and nominal revenue for retail trade and extended retail trade (cars and construction material) for Brazil and Federation Units. The data collection technique includes the pre-filled electronic questionnaire (CASI) and personal interview with paper questionnaire (PAPI). Results can be accessed on Sidra.

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