The household consumption intention indicator (ICF), released today (23) by the National Confederation of Commerce of Goods, Services and Tourism (CNC), increased for the third consecutive month, growing 2.1% in August and totaling 70.2 spots. The result is the best since April this year (70.7 points) and 6.1% higher than that registered in the same month in 2020 (66.2 points).
Economist Catarina Carneiro da Silva, responsible for the ICF, highlighted, however, that the index has remained below the level of satisfaction (100 points) since April 2015, when it was 102.9 points.
According to Catarina, as the consumption perspective was the item that grew the most in August (5.6%), families seem to believe that conditions will continue to improve. “The trend is for the indicator to continue increasing, so much so that the consumption outlook has reached the highest level since May 2020 [70,7 pontos]. It is recovering very strongly and families are optimistic about the coming months”, said the economist, in an interview with Agência Brasil.
The current level of consumption, at 55.2 points – the highest level since March 2021 (56 points) – grew 3.7% in August, the third consecutive increase and the most intense in the period. In comparison with the same month in 2020, the variation was positive by 12.2%.
Current income grew 1.8% in August, and most families (41.5%) are already considering their income equal to last year. “This has not happened since June 2020. Families were considering their income worse. Now, at least, they’re considering it on the same level. There has already been an improvement”, he stated. The income indicator reached 77.7 points, the highest level since March this year (79.3 points).
Current employment grew 0.4% and continues to be the main indicator of the month, pulling the ICF, with 87.3 points. “It’s not what’s growing the most, but it’s what’s making families more satisfied. The labor market is what makes people feel confident to consume. That’s what’s driving it.”
The improvement in employment can be seen in the analysis of the professional perspective, which reveals an increase of 2.2% in August. The indicator has been growing for two months. According to the economist, families are seeing the current job market more positive and, in the long run, even more positive, because it is growing at a higher speed.
Access to credit rose 0.7% in August and was the only indicator to show a decline (1.1%) in the annual comparison. According to Catarina, for most families, it is more difficult to access credit.
The economist said that recent increases in basic interest rates by the Central Bank to curb inflation have made credit more disadvantageous for families. The drop from August 2020 was because, at that time, there was a lot of credit incentives for people to recover from the pandemic. “There was emergency help. Now, there is aid, but at a lower level, and interest rates are increasing, there is inflation, and this is eroding purchasing power a little”. Catarina emphasized that, anyway, there was an increase in the indicator in August.
The moment indicator for durables is gradually increasing, increasing by 1.7% in August, although it is the lowest indicator in the survey (41.9 points). This was because families were focusing too much on essentials. Now, this indicator is slowly recovering, added Catarina.
In the assessment by income group, families with earnings above ten minimum wages revealed a level of dissatisfaction of 87.7 points, with a monthly increase of 2.7% and an annual increase of 16.9%. The same dissatisfaction was perceived in families with income below ten minimum wages, for which the indicator reached 66.5 points, up 2% in the month and 3.3% in the annual comparison. A degree of dissatisfaction is considered when the index remains below 100 points. According to the economist, the closer to that level, the better. “The two tracks [de renda] are dissatisfied, but lower-income families, for having a lower indicator, are more dissatisfied. They are farther from 100.”
By region, the ICF for August shows that the North registered the biggest monthly drop (2.4%), with the lowest rate (55.8 points), while the Southeast and the South had the biggest positive changes of 4.1% and 3.2%, and the highest rates (71 points and 80.8 points), respectively. Catarina said that most regions are better than last year, especially the Northeast, with 71 points. Only the North has not recovered and is 17.6% below August 2020. The other regions have already managed to recover compared to last year.