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SAO PAULO, April 15 (Reuters) - An index measuring consumer defaults in Brazil rose 15.8 percent in the first three months of 2015 compared to the same period last year, mostly due to rising interest rates, higher inflation and a weaker job market, credit research company Serasa Experian said on Wednesday.
The average size of non-bank debts rose 35 percent in the quarter, to 437.30 reais ($141.98) from 323.82 reais previously. Bank debts rose 0.4 percent to an average of 1,248.25 reais from 1,243.52 reais in the first quarter of 2014, Serasa said.
While Brazilians have been less willing to take on new debts, they have also found it hard to pay off existing loans. Consumer confidence is hovering at its lowest since the 2008 global financial crisis and Brazil's economy is expected to mark a recession this year as the government works to tighten spending.
($1 = 3.08 Brazilian reais)
Reporting by Asher Levine; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama