UPDATE 1-Brazil retail sales sink for 5th straight month in June

miércoles 12 de agosto de 2015 08:42 GYT
 

(Adds details of retail sales, economic downturn)

SAO PAULO Aug 12 (Reuters) - Retail sales in Brazil fell for the fifth consecutive month in June as rising inflation and unemployment contributed to the longest consumer slump in 14 years.

Sales volumes excluding automobiles and building materials fell a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent in June from May , the government statistics agency IBGE reported on Wednesday, in line with the median estimate in a Reuters poll.

Consumer confidence is cratering in Brazil due to a sharp economic downturn, a mounting political crisis and a string of tax and interest rate hikes that have led most economists to forecast a recovery only in 2017.

The slump has put a bitter end to a decade-long boom for Brazilian retailers, who are laying off workers and reconsidering investment plans due to withering demand.

Furniture and home appliance sales slipped 1.2 percent in June from May and tumbled 13.6 percent from a year earlier as households shied away from big ticket items. Supermarket sales were flat after a 0.9 percent monthly drop in May, but volumes were still 2.6 percent lower than a year earlier.

June's retail sales sank 2.7 percent from the year-earlier period, IBGE added, close to the 2.9 percent median estimate in the Reuters poll. (Reporting by Brad Haynes and Asher Levine; Additional reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Christian Plumb and Nick Zieminski)