By Christine Murray
MEXICO CITY Jan 21 Mexican retail sales at
stores open at least a year will rise 1.7 percent this year
after barely rising in 2013, the country's biggest retail trade
body said on Tuesday.
ANTAD, which represents retailers including major
supermarket chains Wal-Mart de Mexico and SORIANA
, said total sales, including those from new
stores, could rise by 6.1 percent in 2014.
In 2013, sales at stores open for more than a year grew 0.1
percent, widely missing the 5 percent expected by ANTAD last
Sales last year were hurt by delayed public spending by the
new government, which took the reins at the end of 2012, as well
as natural disasters and protests in some parts of the country,
the trade group said.
Mexico hopes its ambitious reform agenda, which seeks to
modernize a wide variety of sectors from telecoms and energy to
education, will begin to pay off after lackluster economic
performance in 2013. The government forecasts gross domestic
product growth of nearly four percent this year.
Though stronger domestic demand will be crucial to support a
nascent recovery, consumer confidence in Latin America's No. 2
economy fell to its lowest level in more than two and a half
years in December, according to official data.
Comercial Mexicana, the country's
fourth-largest supermarket chain, said on Friday it is
considering putting itself up for sale.
The company has handled a consumer spending downturn in
Mexico better its three larger rivals Wal-Mart de Mexico,
Organizacion Soriana and Chedraui.