Retail sales in the metropolitan area, measured in equivalent premises, declined by 2.3% in November compared with the same month of the previous year, the National Chamber of Commerce (CNC) said on Friday.
Although the decline was lower than in the previous month, with this result, 5 consecutive months of decline were completed, while in the period from January to November, sales of the sector accumulated a decrease of 0.1%.
As for the moving quarter, the period from September to November was again marked by a slowdown: the real decline was 2.9%, which further strengthened the negative trend that is observed from the mobile quarter in March-May.
The negative result of RM sales in November was partially influenced by the calendar effect, when this year was one working day less than in November 2017. To this were added the weekend of Thursday 1 and Friday 2 November, those that gave a long weekend and, therefore, the departure of Santiago from the region, affecting sales, a situation that did not occur in 2017.
Another factor that could affect sales was the increase in consumption in October by Cyber Monday, which partly influenced the results of November. The category of "Electrical appliances" was exactly the one that was most sold in this event, and was the one that had the largest fall in November, which led to a negative overall result of the indicator, explained the CNC.
“Lower consumption is also consistent with lower consumer confidence, where it fell again in November, reaching a four-month pessimistic mood. This is aggravated by the weakness of the labor market, ”says Bernardita Silva, research manager at CNC.
Retail, excluding the automotive sector, had a weak growth in 2018, which will be reflected in the sales index in terms of equivalent RM premises, which will close 2018 with zero growth, he added.
In the first half of the year, the influence of Argentine tourists had a high base of comparison, while in the second half of the year, despite the dissipation of this factor, trade failed to rebound due to weak consumer and consumer confidence. weaker economic scenario.
“Considering the above, it seems to us that the biggest problems lie in the renewal of trusts and the strengthening of investments not only in the means of production. We believe that this is the key to renewing employment in the private sector by creating new and better jobs. As an industry, we need to advance in the flexibility of labor and the removal of existing difficulties, "Silva added.