Consumer beauty trade-down blocks Brazil recovery

The Brazilian cosmetics sector is poised for a slow rebound, writes Charles Newbery

Brazil’s beauty and personal care market took a hit in 2016, as the world’s fourth-biggest beauty market struggled to emerge from its worst-ever recession amid political corruption scandals.

Consumer caution

The outlook is for a slow recovery this year, as high unemployment keeps a lid on purchasing power in this market of 207 million people. Tax hikes have also hurt demand, as well as a squeeze on credit availability. These factors, along with inflation – which actually slowed to an estimated 4% this year from 6% in 2016 and 9% in 2015 – have encouraged consumers to trade down to economy deodorants, fragrances, hair care and skin care products – in beauty-obsessed Brazil, this is a big deal.

“The economic crisis is making consumers . . .

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