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SAO PAULO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Brazilian consumer confidence plunged to a new record low in February as weak job growth, higher interest rates and accelerating inflation pinched families' budgets, raising red flags for retailers still smarting from a weak Christmas.
The Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) said its confidence index fell to 85.4 in February from 89.8 in January, which had been its lowest since the data series began in September 2005.
"The negative perceptions about the economic outlook should deepen the slowdown in activity," said FGV economist Tabi Thuler Santos in a release.
Retail sales in Brazil declined at the sharpest pace on record in December, capping their weakest year since 2003, according to official data released this month.
Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli