Brazil’s retail sales expanded for a sixth straight month in November as President Dilma Rousseff’s administration keeps in place tax cuts implemented to spur demand.
The volume of sales rose 0.3 percent, after increasing 0.8 percent in October, the national statistics agency said today in Rio de Janeiro. The median estimate of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for sales to gain 0.2 percent. From the year earlier, sales increased 8.4 percent, in line with the 8.3 percent forecast of 32 economists surveyed.
President Dilma Rousseff’s government has granted tax breaks for goods including furniture, appliances and automobiles to prop up demand and spur faltering growth in the world’s second-largest emerging market economy. It also pressured banks to lower borrowing costs to increase lending, while the central bank cut its benchmark interest rate more than any other Group of 20 nation to a record 7.25 percent.
Swap rates on the contract maturing in January 2015, the most traded in Sao Paulo, rose 2 basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 7.71 percent at 9:10 a.m. local time. The real weakened 0.09 percent to 2.0335 per dollar.
Finance Minister Guido Mantega announced on Dec. 19 that retailers, excluding supermarkets, will be exempt from payroll taxes starting in April. He also announced the extension of IPI tax cuts on some consumer goods through June, though at lower levels.
Brazil’s central bank estimates the economy grew 1 percent last year, its worst performance since 2009, while economists surveyed by the bank forecast 3.2 percent growth this year. The economy grew 2.7 percent in 2011 and 7.5 percent in 2010.
The broader retail index, which includes the sale of cars and construction materials, rose 7.2 percent from the previous year, the statistics agency said.
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