Retailing in Costa Rica was challenged in 2022, with rising inflation and price hikes impacting consumer buying habits. In addition, high levels of unemployment in the country continued to impact household budgets, shaping purchasing decisions.
If taxes continue to rise and formal retailers struggle in the post-pandemic competitive environment, informal retailing is expected to grow in the country. A study published by the Central Bank in September 2021 mentioned the benefits of reducing employer taxes on formal job creation; however, this has yet to be implemented.
Due to rising inflation, Costa Rica is expected to experience a slowdown of its economy in 2023, with a more stable outlook set for 2024. As such, consumers will continue to be challenged with high prices across the early forecast period, adapting their spending habits to align with renewed budgets.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Retailing industry in Costa Rica with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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Data and analysis in this report provides further detailed coverage dedicated to the following key categories, where applicable:
If you're in the Retailing industry in Costa Rica, our research will help you to make informed, intelligent decisions; to recognise and profit from opportunity, or to offer resilience amidst market uncertainty.
Retail is the sale of new and used goods to consumers from a business for personal or household consumption from retail outlets, kiosks, market stalls, vending, direct selling and e-commerce. Retail is the aggregation of Retail Offline and Retail E-Commerce. Excludes specialist retailers of motor vehicles, motorcycles, vehicle parts. Also excludes fuel sales, foodservice sales, rental transactions, and wholesale sales (e.g. Cash and Carry). Sales value excluding or including VAT/Sales Tax. Retail also excludes the informal retail sector. Informal retailing is retail trade which is not declared to the tax authorities. Informal retailing encompasses (a) sales generated by unregistered and unlicensed retailers, i.e. retailers operating illegally, and (b) any proportion of sales generated by a registered and licensed retailer that is not declared to the tax authorities. Unregistered and unlicensed retailers operate predominantly (although not exclusively) as street hawkers or operate open market stalls, as these channels are harder for the authorities to monitor than permanent outlets. Activities in the illegal market, which is usually understood to refer to trade in illegal, counterfeit or stolen merchandise, are included within our definition of informal retailing. Activities in the “grey market”, which is usually understood to refer to trade in legal merchandise that is sold through unauthorized channels – for example cigarettes bought legally in another country, legally imported, but sold at lower prices than in authorized channels – will be included as informal retailing if no tax is paid on sale by the retailer. However if the retailer pays tax – for example on cigarettes bought legally in another country but sold at a lower price than standard – the sale is included within formal retail.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Retailing research and analysis database.
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