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
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
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