RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- After two years of decline, retail trade in Brazil grew 2 percent in 2017 from 2016, the country's statistics agency announced Friday.
According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), retail sales grew last year for the first time in the past three years, as a low interest rate helped lift the economy from its most serious recession in decades.
The IBGE also said the rise is mainly due to the advance in the supermarket sector, with the turnover increasing 1.4 percent last year; more specifically, due to the sales of utilities and household appliances which rose 9.5 percent, and textiles and clothes which rose 7.6 percent.
Nominal growth in the retail sector reached 2.2 percent in 2017. The revenues of the household appliances industry were up 7.7 percent, those of the pharmaceutical sector were up 9.4 percent, and those of the textiles and clothes industry up 10.3 percent.
Despite the positive figures, the IBGE warned against being overly optimistic about the recovery of the retail sector just because of the 2017 results.
"The year of 2017 stopped a period of two-year decrease, but it is still too early to recover the losses of the 10.2 percent drop accumulated during this period," said IBGE analyst Isabella Nunes.
In December, retail sales fell 1.5 percent from the previous month yet grew 3 percent year-on-year.