MexECON Blog

April Retail Sales Fall 0.8 Percent

Mexican retail sales fell in April by a seasonally-adjusted 0.8%, after a revised 0.2% increase in March and a 0.1% decline in February.  On a more positive note, however, sales were higher than one year earlier.  Without seasonal adjustments, and not counting price changes, sales in April were up 2.5% from the same month in 2012.  The retail subsectors posting year-over-year increases in April were motor vehicles, fuels, and lubricants; food and beverages; clothing, footwear, and textiles; metal and glass products; recreational, paper, and personal products; and furniture, domestic appliances, and computers.  Sales fell from the previous year for department stores and healthcare.

At the wholesale level, sales dropped 2.5% in April, erasing their revised 1.6% rise in March and marking their biggest monthly decline since early 2011.  Nevertheless, April wholesale receipts were up 1.4% year-over-year.

Comment:  As I warned after the retail and wholesale report last month, the March sales increases were not convincing.  The slide in sales during April is therefore no real surprise.  The Mexican economy has cooled considerably over the last six months.  Unemployment has risen, and consumer confidence has declined.  Some recent reports suggest the economy is in a tentative rebound, but a true rebound in wholesale and retail trade would probably require hiring to pick up again and inflation to cool off, and those developments are not unfolding quickly.

Patrick Fearon, CFA
Vice President, Fund Management

                                              Mexican Retail Sales
                                       Seasonally Adjusted, 2003 = 100
                                                   Source:  INEGI
Retail Sales 1304

                                           Mexican Wholesale Sales
                                       Seasonally Adjusted, 2003 = 100
                                                   Source:  INEGI
Wholesale Sales 1304

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