MexECON Blog

November Retail Sales Jump 3.1 Percent

Mexican retail sales jumped by a seasonally-adjusted 3.1% in November, for their strongest monthly gain since 2001.  Revised figures showed a 0.8% rise in October and a flat performance in September.  On an unadjusted, constant-price basis, sales in November were up 1.9% from the same month one year earlier.  The retail subsectors posting year-over-year increases in November were clothing, footwear, and textile goods; metal and glass products; recreational, paper, and personal products; department stores; and motor vehicles, fuels, and lubricants.  The retail subsectors posting year-over-year sales declines were healthcare; food and beverages; and furniture, domestic appliances, and computers.

At the wholesale level, November sales declined 1.4%, but that erased only a small part of the 4.9% rise in October.  Wholesale receipts in November were down 3.5% year-over-year.

The report was released Friday by INEGI, the official statistics agency.

Comment:  The big gain in November retail demand came in part from a program of dramatic sales promotions by Mexican stores.  It may also be that consumers were rushing to make purchases ahead a series of tax hikes that took place on January 1.  That suggests sales could fall again in the coming months, especially since the consumer confidence index posted yet another decline in December.  Mexico's international trade has seemed to strengthen a bit in recent months, but I suspect the economy in the near term will continue to struggle with weakness in key domestic sectors such as government spending, construction, and consumption demand.

Patrick Fearon, CFA
Vice President, Fund Management

                                                Mexican Retail Sales
                                       Seasonally Adjusted, 2003 = 100
                                                    Source:  INEGI
Retail Sales 1311

                                         Mexican Wholesale Sales
                                    Seasonally Adjusted, 2003 = 100
                                                  Source:  INEGI
Wholesale Sales 1311

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