David Biller – Bloomberg, 07/11/2012
Brazil’s retail sales fell in May by the most in more than three years, as indebted consumers failed to respond to government measures to spur demand. Yields on interest-rate futures fell.
The volume of sales declined 0.8 percent, down from a revised 0.7 percent increase in April, the national statistics agency said today in Rio de Janeiro. The fall was the biggest since November 2008 and surprised all 38 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, whose median estimate was for a rise of 0.6 percent.
President Dilma Rousseff’s government has granted tax breaks for goods including furniture, appliances and automobiles to prop up demand and achieve its latest 2012 growth forecast of 2.5 percent. The May retail sales data opens room for the central bank to further cut borrowing costs today and at future meetings, said Flavio Serrano, senior economist at Banco Espirito Santo de Investimento SA.