Brazilian supermarket sales rose 2.3 percent

According to the latest figures from the Brazilian Supermarket Association (Abras), total supermarket sales in the country increased by 2.23 percent in December compared to the previous year. Industry analysts found uprising to be surprising as the nation was hit by severe recession in the recent past. The betterment in the performance has been attributed to the irrepressible demand for food, toiletry and cleaning items, government efforts to cut borrowing costs and revive the ailing economy.

Sales rose 1.58 percent in inflation adjusted terms in 2016 and are likely to increase 1.3 percent this year, Abras said. The national sales index compiles data from 2,800 outlets representing about 130 companies that account for 60 percent of supermarket sales in Brazil.

Abras President João Sanzovo Neto expressed confidence in the government’s initiatives to revive the economy. Weakening consumption habits among low-income families in the country could be a setback though. The survey revealed that the class C bracket cut spending in staples and other basic goods in 2017 for the first year in four. Brazil’s economy shrank for the seventh consecutive quarter in the July-through-September period, government statistics agency IBGE said last year.