SAO PAULO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Brazilian retail sales declined in January despite traditional New Year's sales events as buyers grappled with higher credit costs and high inflation, research firm Serasa Experian said on Thursday.
Serasa's Commerce Activity Indicator, its sample-based gauge of retail sales, fell 1.3 percent in January from December. The decline was concentrated in food and automobile sales. Furniture and domestic appliances were the only category that expanded.
Consumer confidence in Brazil is currently at its lowest since the 2008 global financial crisis, with many Brazilians focused on paying off debts accumulated over the past few years.
Higher interest rates and a worsening outlook for Brazil's economy have also kept many buyers on the sidelines in recent months.
Serasa's retail figures precede those from national statistics agency IBGE by more than a month.
On Feb. 11, the IBGE is scheduled to release retail sales data for the month of December.
Reporting by Asher Levine Editing by W Simon