UPDATE 1-Brazil economic activity index drops in May-central bank

jueves 17 de julio de 2014 08:32 GYT

(Adds revised index for previous month, background)

BRASILIA, July 17 (Reuters) - The Brazilian central bank's economic activity index, a gauge for the farming, industry and services sectors, dropped in May and growth in the previous month was revised lower, adding to indications Latin America's largest economy was weakening.

The IBC-Br index fell 0.18 percent in May from April in seasonally adjusted terms, less than the 0.5 percent drop estimated in a Reuters survey of 18 analysts.

Its previously reported 0.12 percent rise in April was revised lower to an increase of only 0.05 percent, the central bank said on Thursday.

The index dropped a non-seasonally adjusted 0.17 percent over the same month a year ago.

Brazil's economy has slowed to a near-halt despite dozens of stimulus measures by President Dilma Rousseff since she took office in 2011. The slowdown has complicated her campaign for re-election as consumer confidence falls steadily and factories start to cut jobs.

Industrial output dropped in May for a third straight month, government data showed earlier this month. Retail sales rose at the fastest pace in six months in the same month, but analysts said the good performance was a result of one-time sales of television sets ahead of the World Cup soccer tournament.

The IBC-Br index has proven to be an imperfect barometer of official GDP data compiled by statistics agency IBGE, which provides a broader reading of economic activity. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione and Walter Brandimarte; Editing by W Simon and J Benkoe)