(Adds detail of retail sales data, holiday promotions)
By Brad Haynes
SAO PAULO, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Retail sales in Brazil recovered in November as holiday sales revived demand for appliances and electronics, although volumes deepened their drop from a year earlier due to a recession.
Sales volumes rose a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent in November from October, government statistics agency IBGE said on Wednesday, defying a median forecast of a 0.5 percent drop in a Reuters poll of 22 economists.
Brazilian retailers have adopted earlier holiday promotions in recent years, boosting demand in November at the expense of December and throwing off economists’ seasonal models.
Online retail volumes around “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” promotions in November rose 44 percent this year from a year ago, according to e-commerce analyst E-bit. Yet sales in the week before Christmas fell 15 percent, according to the São Paulo Commerce Federation.
Overall November sales volumes also paled versus a year ago, dropping 7.8 percent compared to a 5.7 percent drop in October.
Consumer confidence fell to record lows last year in Brazil’s worst recession since 1990, as more than 1.5 million people lost their jobs while rising inflation and interest rates battered demand, especially for cars and other durable goods.
Sales in the home furnishings division of Brazil’s biggest retailer, GPA SA, tumbled 14.7 percent in the fourth quarter, the company reported on Tuesday, offset by rising demand from bargain shoppers at wholesale stores.
November IBGE data suggested that November promotions may have provided some respite, lifting sales of computer, communications and office equipment 17.4 percent from October, with a 6.9 percent bump for furniture and appliance sales.
Sales in those categories still dropped 5.6 percent and 14.7 percent from a year earlier, respectively. (Additional reporting by Silvio Cascione in Brasilia; Editing by Alison Williams and Chizu Nomiyama)