Walmart's Mexico sales up 5.4 percent in February, exceeding estimates

FILE PHOTO: Aircraft flies over a Wal-Mart billboard in Mexico City March 24, 2015. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s biggest retailer, Wal-Mart de Mexico, said on Wednesday that its same-store sales in Mexico rose 5.4 percent in February, exceeding analyst estimates for a month that saw record high consumer confidence.

Part of U.S.-based Walmart, Walmex said total sales in February, including its stores in Central America, totaled 45.9 billion pesos ($2.37 billion), up 5.5 percent compared to the same month last year.

Analysts had forecast same-store sales in Mexico to grow between 4.8 percent and 5.2 percent, expecting shopping to be helped by the normalization of the country’s gasoline supply after shortages in January following a government crackdown on fuel theft.

Mexico’s consumer confidence index rose to 119.9 in February from 113.2 in January, hitting a record level after rising for three consecutive months.

Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez and Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Grant McCool