After recording a decline in sales and loss of formal jobs this year, Costa Rica’s retail sector predicts a rebound in revenues for 2020.

The current year has been a year of economic and retail contraction, mainly because of the loss of consumer confidence and the consequent reduction in sales, which in turn reduced the capacity for investment and employment generation by companies, says a statement from the Camara de Comercio de Costa Rica (CCCR) – Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce..

According to the CCCR, from the 1st Quarter 2018 to the 3rd Quarter 2019, informal employment in the retail sector increased by 24% and formal employment decreased by 22%, demonstrating a shift from the formal to the informal sector.

The report notes that “… By 2020, the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica has identified some priority areas or issues for the sector, which should be on the agenda of the Alvarado Administration. These issues are: Promotion of Business Formality, Fight against Smuggling and Illicit Trade, and Trade Facilitation.”

Yolanda Fernandez, president of the CCCR told Nacion.com that “… they are optimistic for 2020, with prospects for stabilization and the beginning of recovery, both because it is expected a rebound in consumer confidence and because the impact of the Law to Strengthen Public Finance (tax reform) would already be diluted, after six months of implementation. The combination of factors would make the consumer decide again to buy again.”

Regarding consumer confidence levels, the most recent report from the University of Costa Rica *UCR) explains that, despite the fact that between August and November 2019 the confidence index increased 13%, consumers still have a significant degree of uncertainty.

For the rest of the year, the CCCR expects Christmas sales to increase 10% compared to the same period of 2018.