Brazil’s retail sales rebounded in June, led by purchases of appliances and furniture.
Sales rose 0.5 percent from the previous month, after remaining unchanged in May, the national statistics agency said today in Rio de Janeiro. The median estimate from 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 0.6 percent increase. Retail sales rose 1.7 percent from the same month last year, below the median forecast for a 2 percent increase.
Inflation that climbed beyond the central bank’s target range twice this year has caused purchasing power to contract and consumer confidence to wither. In order to boost growth, President Dilma Rousseff has extended stimulus measures including subsidized credit for low-income families to buy furniture and appliances, and this month also cut tariffs for more than 100 goods. Consumers also face higher interest rates as the central bank continues the biggest increase to borrowing costs of any Group of 20 nation to tamp inflation.
Swap rates on the contract maturing in January 2015 were unchanged at 9.88 percent at 9:11 a.m. local time. The real strengthened 0.2 percent to 2.3013 per U.S. dollar.
The broader retail index, which includes cars and construction materials, fell 2 percent from the year before, the agency said today, after rising a revised 4.3 percent in May. Consumer confidence fell in three straight months through July to a four-year low, according to the Fundacao Getulio Vargas.
Sales of home appliances and furniture jumped 1.8 percent in June, the statistics agency said. Sales at supermarkets and hypermarkets fell 0.4 percent from a 1.8 percent increase last month.
First-quarter data showed Brazil’s family consumption rose 0.1 percent, down from 1 percent in the fourth quarter. Economists in the latest central bank survey lowered their forecasts for growth and inflation this year to 2.21 percent and 5.74 percent, respectively. Inflation in July slowed to 6.27 percent, its lowest level since January and within the central bank’s 2.5 percent to 6.5 percent target range.
Retailer Lojas Marisa SA yesterday reported second-quarter sales of 745 million reais ($311 million), above the average 718 million reais estimate from analysts. Retailer Lojas Americanas SA will report second quarter earnings later today.
The MSCI index of Brazilian consumer-discretionary stocks, which include Lojas Americanas, Lojas Renner SA and Cia. Hering, tumbled 21 percent this year through yesterday. That compares with a 25 percent surge in the last six months of 2012.