Mexico Retail Sales Rose at Slowest Pace in a Year in December

  • Sales grew 3.4% from a year ago, least since December 2014
  • Consumers had helped buoy economy amid drop in oil production

Mexico retail sales climbed at the slowest pace in a year in December, rising less than analysts forecast and fueling concern that domestic demand, one of the economy’s strengths in recent months, may be eroding.

Retail sales climbed 3.4 percent from a year ago, Mexico’s statistics institute reported on Monday, less than estimated by any of the 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The median forecast was for a 6.1 percent increase. The 1.6 percent drop from the previous month was the biggest since 2013.

The report raises concern that Mexican consumer spending, which has been helping to defend the economy from a drop in oil prices and production, could be losing steam, said Marco Oviedo, the chief Mexico economist at Barclays Plc.

"Retail is the only demand component that is driving growth," Oviedo said in a phone interview from Mexico City. "If this one loses power, then the economy is in trouble."

The peso maintained its advance after the report, climbing 0.8 percent to 18.0705 per U.S. dollar at 8:38 a.m. in Mexico City.

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