• Economists raise 2017 growth forecast in central bank survey
  • Estacio posts biggest gain on benchmark after 2nd merger offer

The Ibovespa rose for a fourth straight day as analysts in a weekly central bank survey signaled they’re feeling more optimistic about the growth outlook in Latin America’s largest economy.

Bets that Brazil may soon turn the corner on its worst recession in a century prompted investors to snap up the stocks of companies that depend on domestic demand, including loyalty program operator Smiles SA and retailer Lojas Americanas SA. Estacio Participacoes SA, Brazil’s second-biggest for-profit college operator, led gains on the benchmark index after it received a second merger offer from a rival company.

"The improvement in expectations is the first step for the economy to recover, so it’s positive for companies,” said Jason Vieira, the chief economist at Infinity Asset Management in Sao Paulo. “But there’s still a lot to be done.”

Gross domestic product is forecast to expand 0.85 percent in 2017, up from a previous forecast of 0.55 percent a week earlier, according to the survey published Monday. That’s the biggest jump in forecasts since January, when the monetary authority first started including the 2017 outlook in its report.

The Ibovespa gained 0.4 percent to 50,815.78 at 11:52 a.m. in Sao Paulo as 47 of its 59 stocks advanced. Estacio climbed 6.5 percent.

Miner Vale SA and state-controlled oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA also rose, tracking gains in global commodity prices.

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