World Economy

Brazil Retail Sales Fall

Brazil Retail Sales FallBrazil Retail Sales Fall

Brazil’s retail sales fell more than forecast in December as a prolonged recession continues to eat into Brazilians’ purchasing power. Sales fell 2.7% after a revised 1.6% increase in November, the national statistics agency said Tuesday. That was more than the median estimate for a 2.5% decline from 37 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales fell 4.3% throughout 2015. A recession projected to last two years has already shaved more than 1.5 million formal jobs from the economy, as double-digit inflation further erodes purchasing power. Those factors have led to three straight quarters of drops in consumer spending, which accounts for almost two-thirds of economic activity. The real was little changed at 3.99 per US dollar in early-morning trading. Swap rates on the contract due January 2017 fell 3 basis points to 14.36%. Sales of furniture and appliances sank 8.7% in December, while sales of food, beverages and tobacco products at hypermarkets and supermarkets fell 1%. Retail sales fell 7.1% from the same month the prior year, in line with estimates.