UPDATE 1-Brazil retail sales drop more than expected in August

miércoles 14 de octubre de 2015 08:36 GYT

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BRASILIA Oct 14 (Reuters) - Retail sales in Brazil fell more than expected in August, the seventh straight month of decline as a severe recession kept consumers worried about their jobs and debts.

Retail sales volumes in Brazil excluding automobiles and building materials fell 0.9 percent in August from July , statistics agency IBGE said on Wednesday, more than a Reuters poll estimate for a decline of 0.55 percent.

Including autos and building materials, sales fell 2.0 percent in August from July, IBGE said.

High inflation, rising unemployment and double-digit interest rates have ended a decade-long boom for Brazilian retailers. The economy, hampered by a political crisis and a string of tax hikes, is expected to start a modest recovery only in 2017, according to most economists.

Sales have already fallen nearly 10 percent from a record-high in November last year, IBGE said, and may have worsened further in September as consumer confidence hit an all-time low for a third straight month, according to a recent survey.

Sales declined in six of the eight categories of the IBGE index from July. Home appliance and furniture sales, big-ticket items that are more directly affected by rising interest rates, fell 2.0 percent.

August retail sales dropped 6.9 percent from the year-earlier period, more than the median estimate of a 5.6 percent drop in the Reuters poll. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)