Chile Consumer Demand in Trouble as November Retail Drops

(Bloomberg) -- Chilean retail sales unexpectedly fell in November, undercutting optimism that consumer demand would strengthen on the back of a better jobs market.

Sales dropped 0.8 percent from a year ago in the largest decline in four years, the national statistics agency reported on Friday. The result was lower than all estimates from economists in a Bloomberg survey whose median forecast was for a 1.8 percent gain.

Chile Consumer Demand in Trouble as November Retail Drops

Key Insights

  • Decreasing sales of electronics, pharmacy, cosmetics and personal hygiene goods and fuel dragged down the November retail figures.
  • November result follows a 7.5 percent jump in retail sales in October.
  • Separately, the index of commercial activity grew 0.6 percent in November from a year earlier helped by machinery and equipment, textile, and agricultural materials, the latter of which rose 24.9 percent from the previous year.
  • Automobile sales slowed sharply, and lower salary growth could hit consumption in the short-term, according to Antonio Moncado, an economist at Banco BCI
  • Nathan Pincheira, chief economist at Finanzas Y Negocios SA, lowered his forecast for annual economic activity growth in November to 1.8 percent from 2.4 percent on the November retail result and employment data released earlier this week

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.