UPDATE 1-Brazil's economic activity slows for 9th month in November
(Adds details, background, comment)
By Silvio Cascione
BRASILIA Jan 15 (Reuters) - Economic activity in Brazil slowed in November for the ninth straight month as the country sank into one of the world's deepest recessions for the year, but the drop was smaller than expected due to a surprise increase in retail sales.
The Brazilian central bank said on Friday that its IBC-Br economic activity index, which measures the farming, industry and service sectors, fell 0.52 percent from October after seasonal adjustments.
A Reuters survey of 17 analysts had forecast a 1.00 percent decline in the indicator. The survey had been conducted before retail data showed a surprise increase in early holiday sales of appliances and electronics.
Economic activity plunged 6.14 percent from November 2014, highlighting the intensity of a recession that has helped send the President Dilma Rousseff's government to the brink of collapse and shocked investors who had poured funds into the world's seventh-largest economy until recently.
A Reuters poll this week shows Brazil's economy shrinking 2.8 percent in 2016 following an estimated drop of 3.7 percent last year. Only Venezuela had a worse outlook in the global survey, which covered all G20 countries plus a few mid-sized economies.
Analysts said the surprise recovery in retail sales in November was probably an anticipation of Christmas demand due to "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" discounts. A likely slump in December sales could weigh on economic activity, they added.
"The IBC-Br index will probably keep its negative trend, with no signs of recovery," MCM Consultores economists said in a research note. Continuación...