MexECON Blog

December Retail Sales Fall 0.8 Percent

Mexican retail sales fell by a seasonally-adjusted 0.8% in December, offsetting the revised 0.7% gain in November and marking the third decrease in the last four months.  Nevertheless, sales were still stronger than one year earlier.  On an unadjusted, constant-price basis, sales in December up 2.4% year-over-year.  The retail subsectors posting year-over-year sales gains in December were on-line and catalogs; food, beverages, and tobacco; healthcare; metal and glass products; department stores; motor vehicles, fuels, and lubricants; and recreational, paper, and personal products.  The subsectors posting declining sales were home décor, domestic appliances, and computers; and clothing, footwear, and textile goods.

At the wholesale level, December sales rose 0.7%, after increases of 0.6% in November and 1.0% in October.  Wholesale receipts in December were up 5.0% year-over-year.

In full-year 2014, retail sales at constant prices were up 2.7% versus the prior year, while wholesale sales were up 1.4%.

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

Comment:  Mexican retail sales have recently softened, but that follows strong gains during the summer.  Moreover, it appears that the launch of holiday promotions during November pulled some activity forward and contributed to the weakness in December.  I am still optimistic that the recent firming in the Mexican labor market will eventually boost consumer confidence again and spur a rebound in retail activity.  Mexico's unemployment rate fell rapidly throughout the second half of 2014, and that should show up in greater optimism and increased consumer spending in the coming months.

Patrick Fearon, CFA
Vice President, Fund Management

Retail Sales 1412

Wholesale Sales 1412

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