For much of 2020 Chile It was among the countries that lost the most jobs in percentage terms and where global trade sales fell the most.
The Santiago Chamber of Commerce (CCS) commented that as of August, however, this scenario “began to change thanks to the injection of an unusual volume of resources into households, as a result of delivery of state aid and the first withdrawal of 10% of pension funds from the workers”.
In this way, the sector entered an aggressive dynamic that led it to lead growth globally during the fourth trimester.
“That, after having registered the biggest contraction in the second quarter. According to our estimates, local retail sales would have increased by around 18% in the last quarter of 2020, helping to moderate to less than 4% the strong annual contraction that we would have seen without the withdrawal effect ”, added the union.
At a global level, retail sales would have contracted by around 1.5% during the year, within a recovery process that lost strength in the last two months, after having reached its best record of the year in October ( around 5%).
In general, the trajectory of the second semester was more favorable for all regions, but in the last quarter Two patterns were observed: A group of countries, mainly in the northern hemisphere, peaked during the third quarter and lost strength in the last, due to new health alerts that hardened the containment plans.
Another group continued to improve its performance in the last quarter, as in the case of Colombia and other Latin American countries and Japan in the developed orbit.
In the case of the latter, the growth estimated at 1.4% for the last quarter was the only one with a positive sign during the year.
Spain, meanwhile, is one of the most complex cases of the year: as of March it has only registered annual contractions in sales and, in December, as a result of the reconfinement, it would have had a new fall, to complete a decline of close to 8% in 2020.
Together with Colombia, Slovenia and Bulgaria make up the group of countries with the greatest annual drops in retail sales, zone from which Chile managed to escape “artificially” as a result of withdrawals of pension resources.
Among the countries with the highest annual growth in sales are Norway, Ukraine and Holland “With notable performances, between 6.5% and 7.5%,” said the CCS.
“In general, in the countries with the best results in retail, less severe strategies for restricting mobility are observed. During the year we have shown evidence of how, as governments have been more aggressive in these policies, retail sales have been more affected, as well as employment and other indicators of economic performance ”, the union specified.
In fact, Chile’s situation in the last quarter combines two factors that drive sales: the progress of the deconfinement stages between October and November; and the first and second withdrawal of pension funds, which provided “the liquidity more than necessary to reactivate the demand in household consumption,” the CCS concluded in its report.