Bad check ratio soars in Brazil as economy sags, rates rise
SAO PAULO, June 22 (Reuters) - Bounced checks in Brazil jumped in May to their highest for the month in six years, as rising borrowing costs, the fastest inflation in over a decade and a recession make it harder for consumers to pay their debt, credit research firm Serasa Experian said on Monday.
Last month, the ratio of bounced checks rose to 2.29 percent of cleared checks, compared with 2.17 percent a year earlier, Serasa said. On a monthly basis, the ratio climbed from 2.26 percent in April, Serasa said.
Economists expect Brazil's economy, the largest in Latin America, to shrink this year at the steepest pace in over two decades. Household income is grappling with accelerating inflation and large job losses across the country, which will test the ability of consumers to stay current on their obligations, economists said. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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