The portfolio is not holding up and companies are feeling it: mass consumption fell by almost 4% in January.

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As expected, with monthly inflation of 20.6%, Mass consumption decreased – in January – by 3.8% compared to the same month last year. Therefore, despite the high inflationary pressure, the curve of positive numbers that has been recorded continuously since May 2023 has been cut. The data comes from a survey by the consultancy firm Scentia.

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Not even inflation in December, which rose to 25.5%, managed to flatten consumers’ purchasing decisions in supermarkets and self-service stores, especially in a seasonally high month due to the holidays.

But ultimately, January data showed a decline in volumes sold substantially punished by a price increase of 296.6% on an annual basis. One level the one left higher than general inflation254.2% in the same period, according to INDEC.

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Within the packaged product line, all categories have fallen -with the exception of the impulsive products that supermarkets desperately display in the checkout lines of mega-stores to attract the attention and temptation of consumers.

Osvaldo del Rio, president of Scentia, explained that “even if this result of monthly decline was expected, the different behavior between the channels attracted attention given that, after 18 months of decline, the self-service outlets achieved a slightly positive performance of 0.5%While supermarkets, which have been showing positive indicators for over two years, suffered a drop in sales of 8.3%,” He says..

According to the analyst, “it is important to take into consideration that the basis of comparison is part of the explanation for this situation, given that self-service stores are compared with -9.1% in January 2023 and supermarkets with +7.8% .

However, there are other components that are added to this new phase, such as strong price changes and the loss of purchasing power,” del Rio lists to name just a few. Another factor that reduced shelf sales was the elimination of the Care Prices program and the ability to pay in installments by credit card.

Another particular feature of the January survey is that while supermarkets had uniform movement in the AMBA and Interior, self-service increased in the AMBA and decreased in the Interior.

“Perhaps the explanation for this problem could lie in a smaller tourist exodus, which is always useful for this canal at this time of year. According to the consultancy firm NiesenIQ, in January the drop in consumption in tourist areas was 15% compared to the same month of the previous season. “Another aspect to consider, according to del Rio, is the possible decline in sales in border cities, which have had a significant impact on the interior and are no longer as attractive in current conditions,” he said.

The analyst believes that, in this context of price and wage increases that do not accompany this trend, “it is likely that habits that we have already seen will also intensify, with a greater frequency of purchase and fewer units per ticket, to pay more attention to the expense in every purchase”, he observed.

Again according to the Argentine Chamber of Commerce (CAC), the consumption capacity of families Its downward trend would continue given that “the new government has slowed the pace of increasing allocations and subsidies to families”, he explained in a statement in which he reports his consumption indicator. This January data was shown by the camera a drop of 1.7% in the interannual comparison (ai), implying a seasonally adjusted increase of 1.1% compared to the month of December (i.e. discounting the usual seasonal effects of consumption throughout the year).

“High inflation rates They impacted purchasing power and no progress was possible which would maintain a positive sign in the consumption index as had happened in December, which is why January 2024 once again showed a negative sign,” explained the CAC.

Source: Clarin

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