The fall in consumption has no respite. In March, discounting the impact of inflation, sales in supermarkets fell by 14.5%, in retail self-services fell by 16% and in shopping malls they decreased by 16.6% compared to March 2018, according to the INDEC information.

With the fall in the purchasing power of wages, pensions and other social benefits, the recovery of purchasing power is still far from the pockets of the people.

INDEC figures show that supermarket sales totaled $ 51,119.1 million in March, with a year-on-year drop of 14.5% constant prices. It is the biggest drop of the 9 consecutive monthly inter-annual losses that started last July.

In addition, according to the amount of the average ticket, purchases were $ 657, with a decrease of almost 10% in relation to the inflation of the period, reflecting the restrictions of families.

Among the self-services, the fall in real sales was higher, of 16%, accumulated 8 consecutive months of year-on-year decrease, standing out March with the biggest drop in sales. In this case, the average ticket fell by 15% in real terms.

In the shopping centers (shoppings), the year-on-year decrease in March was 16.6% higher, also accumulating 9 consecutive monthly losses, with the biggest decrease in March.

Hand in hand with these drops in sales, in the last 12 months supermarkets reduced their staffing by 2,395 people. On the other hand, wholesale self-services increased by 346 people. In turn, the salaries of cashiers and clerks had a real drop of 15%.

With the figures of March, in the first quarter of 2019 the supermarkets accumulate a fall in sales of 12.5%, the decreases in the chain wholesalers deepen to 14.6% and between the shoppings the decrease goes up to 16.4 %.

 The items with the largest drop are electronics, household items, clothing, footwear and textiles, prepared foods, rotisseries and beverages. In shoppings, in addition to electronics and computer equipment, sales of clothing, toys, food court and bookstore declined.

By regions, the biggest drops in sales affected Chaco, Corrientes, Santiago del Estero, Tucumán, Formosa and La Rioja, which also recorded higher levels of poverty.

For the next few months, the evolution of consumption will depend on whether the improvements obtained in the parities exceed inflation, a race that until now wages and pensions “run” behind. And what happens with the job that is also going backwards.