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LatinNews Daily - 15 March 2021

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In brief: Brazil’s retail trade starts year on a dip

* Brazil’s national statistics institute (Ibge) has released its latest figures on retail trade, according to which retail sales shrank by 0.2% in January, compared with December 2020. Year-on-year, retail sales saw a -0.3% variation in January, the first negative year-on-year result in seven months. “With the decrease in the contribution of the emergency aid [monthly handout], as of October, households’ consumption capacity decreased, with a direct impact on retail, leading to stability in the indicators in November (-0.1%), a decrease in December (-6.2%), and stability again in January (-0.2%),” Cristiano Santos, the manager of the Ibge’s research on retail trade, said. In the 12 months to January 2021, Brazil’s retail sales grew 1%.