Mexico Retail Sales Jump by Most Since 2012 as Inflation Eases

  • Slowing pace of price increases is bolstering consumers
  • Retail surge fuels stock returns at Liverpool, Wal-Mart

Mexico’s retail sales surged by the most in three years in August as a rebound in consumer spending accelerated.

Retail sales climbed 6.4 percent from the same month a year ago, the most since February 2012 and higher than the 4.8 percent gain that was the median estimate of 22 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The 1.5 percent increase from the previous month was the biggest since January of this year.

The lowest inflation rate in almost five decades is boosting purchasing power by the most since 2001, Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said last week. That’s helping to prop up the economy even as falling oil output and sluggish manufacturing exports are leading economists to ratchet back their 2015 growth forecasts.

“The Mexican consumer remains in good shape,’’ Andres Abadia, an economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics Ltd., said in a note to clients. “Private consumption will likely remain one of the key drivers of the economy over the coming quarters.’’

Stronger consumer spending has helped push retailer El Puerto de Liverpool SAB to a 63 percent gain this year through Tuesday, the most on the benchmark IPC index of 35 Mexican stocks. Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB and restaurant operator Alsea SAB also rank among the exchange’s top performers.

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