MexECON Blog

March Retail Sales Rise 0.2 Percent

Mexican retail sales rose by a seasonally-adjusted 0.2% in March, after unrevised increases of 0.5% in February and 2.1% in January.  On an unadjusted, constant-price basis, sales in March were up a healthy 5.5% from the same month one year earlier.  The retail subsectors posting the best year-over-year sales gains in March were on-line and catalogs; metal and glass products; and recreational, paper, and personal products.

At the wholesale level, March sales rose 0.7%, after a gain of 1.3% in February.  Wholesale sales in Mexico have now risen for six months in a row.  March wholesale receipts were up a strong 7.6% year-over-year.

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

Comment:  As I have been arguing, the steep decline in Mexican unemployment since last summer seems to be prompting stronger consumer demand.  The continued growth in retail sales is clear evidence of this.  Importantly, stronger consumer demand will probably help offset some negative trends in the Mexican economy, such as low oil prices, reduced government spending, and a likely hike in U.S. interest rates later this year.

Patrick Fearon, CFA
Portfolio Manager

Retail Sales 1503

Wholesale Sales 1503

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