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Real wage bill to continue supporting private consumption

Retail sales rose by 3.2% yoy in August, close to our forecast of 3.3%, yet below consensus (4.4% as per Bloomberg). The calendar adjusted quarterly annual rate of retail sales rose to 4.6% in August (from 4.1% in 2Q23). Also using calendar adjusted figures, the real wage bill, the key determinant of private consumption, rose at a solid quarterly annual rate of 9.7% yoy August (from 9.4% in 2Q23), with formal employment growing 3.8% (practically unchanged from 2Q23), while nominal wages increased 10.8% (from 11.3% in 2Q23). The real wage bill is also supported by lower inflation. Real consumption credit from commercial banks continues to expand at a strong pace (12.7% yoy in quarter ended in August), while remittances converted to pesos fell by 9.0% yoy, dragged by the appreciated currency. At the margin, retail sales weakened in August, falling by 0.4% mom/sa, taking the qoq/saar to a still strong 10.8% (from 5.4% in 2Q23).


Our take: Our GDP growth forecast for 2023 stands at 3.0%, supported by a strong 1H23 and an expected deceleration in 2H23.

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Julio Ruiz