FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONTREAL, QC, October 26, 2020 (Press Release) – Numera today released its advance estimates of global retail sales, which suggest a marked slowdown in consumption growth, owing in part to rising infection rates across advanced economies.
Our revised estimate for September shows a 1.1% month-over-month (MoM) gain as the most likely outcome, a marked slowdown versus August (see below). Retail sales likely weakened further this month, with our modelling of high frequency indicators pointing to nearly flat growth in October (+0.2% MoM). Given the increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, however, the full extent of the slowdown remains uncertain and the tail risk is significant as seen in the graph below.
Meanwhile, final estimates show that global retail sales rose 1.6% MoM in August. Emerging markets (+3.3% MoM) outperformed developed markets for the first time this year, but spending remained far from pre-COVID levels. On a year-over-year basis, though, retail sales were still down 13% across emerging markets as a whole, in stark contrast with mature markets (+4.1% YoY), where the combination of mobility restrictions (which limited spending on contact services) and generous government benefits have proven hugely beneficial to the sale of goods.
Joaquín Kritz Lara, Head of Macro Research at Numera, said that “these figures, combined with Numera’s advanced estimates of global manufacturing and industrial activity released last week, suggest Q4 will be considerably weaker than anticipated by the IMF and most private forecasters”.