(Adds quotes from Yanez, weak economic outlook for 2015, changes headline)
By Noe Torres
MEXICO CITY, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Mexico’s retailers’ association said on Tuesday it expects a difficult economic environment this year, with sales at stores open at least a year to rise by 2.3 percent in 2015, after a weak economy slowed sales growth to just 0.9 percent in 2014.
Vicente Yanez, the president of ANTAD, which includes retail chains Walmex and Soriana as well as other department stores, said he thought the Mexican economy would expand 3.2 percent in 2015, as low oil prices and a likely interest rate rise in the United States dented growth.
Mexico’s central bank expects economic growth of 3 to 4 percent this year, after reaching an estimated 2 to 2.5 percent for 2014.
“We’re worried about Mexico’s 2015 projections,” Yanez said at a press conference. “With the skills we have as a country, we should be growing more quickly.”
Yanez added that he expected members to invest $3.6 billion in 2015, up from the $3.5 billion invested in 2014, with most of that money being spent on new store openings.
Yanez also said same-store sales for December 2014 rose 1.3 percent. (Reporting by Noe Torres; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)