Bolsonaro and Guedes ask supermarkets to hold prices.  Industry sales fell 1.4% in April

Bolsonaro and Guedes ask supermarkets to hold prices. Industry sales fell 1.4% in April

Minister appealed to businessmen to ‘tighten their belts’. Retail loses steam and advances only 0.9% in April

Consumer in front of supermarket shelves in São Paulo: food has risen more than inflation in the last 12 months Maria Isabel Oliveira

Brazilian retail sales lost steam and grew 0.9% in April, against 1.4% in March, according to data released by the IBGE this Friday morning. But the supermarket and hypermarket sector saw sales shrink by 1.4% last month.

This Thursday, President Jair Bolsonaro and the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, in a videoconference with entrepreneurs in the supermarket sector, made an appeal for a “truce in prices”. Guedes asked businessmen to “tighten their belts”.

With soaring food prices, supermarkets have performed poorly this year. The nominal revenue of the sector rose, because of inflation. But the sales volume is skating.

Before the fall of 1.4% in April, the sector had already registered stability in March. Before, it had a growth of only 1% in February and of only 0.1% in January.

Retail sales as a whole have lost steam throughout 2022.

Still, the April retail result came in above forecasts. On average, market analysts predicted a rise of only 0.3%.

– The four months of the year were positive, but they are on a downward trend: from 2.4% in January to 0.9% in April – said the manager of the IBGE’s Monthly Trade Survey (PMC), Cristiano Santos.

Economist Alberto Ramos, from Goldman Sachs, points out that the reopening of the economy after the end of the Omicron wave, an easing of restrictions in the automotive sector (which had been facing a shortage of parts), and government stimulus measures (such as the release of FGTS withdrawals) ensured the good performance of the commerce.

He recalls, however, that the scenario for the coming months is not so favorable:

– Double-digit inflation, lower consumer and business confidence, political uncertainty and high consumer indebtedness may affect economic activity in the coming months.

Source: The Globe

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