Retail sales recovered in May, closing the month up 13.9% after a record drop of 16.3% in April, according to data released this Wednesday by IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics). This was the biggest growth in the historical series of the survey, which started in January 2000.
However, in comparison with May 2019, retail sales reached 7.2% less, the worst performance since 2016. In the accumulated result for the year, the sector decreased by 3.9%.
“Sales grew from April to May, but the movement was not enough to counter all the effects of the pandemic,” said IBGE research manager, Cristiano Santos. “This abrupt upward variation does not turn the May data into a positive one.”
Despite the increase in May, retail closed the month with a 7.3% drop in sales comparing to February, the last month without the effects of social isolation measures to control the pandemic.
“The wage bill fell by 7.3 billion in the last quarter, as pointed out by the Continuous PNAD [Continuous National Household Sample Survey]. But in May there was also a portion of the 13th salary of pensioners and emergency aid, which was already in its second edition, benefits that the wage bill does not include,” the expert further added. “So many factors contribute to this growth, such as the increase in activities. Somehow, there was an impact on the opening of these physical stores and also an adjustment in a different way of working, such as deliveries, for example.”