UPDATE 1-Brazil retail sales fall slightly more than expected in July
(Adds details) BRASILIA, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Retail sales in Brazil fell slightly more than expected in July on rising unemployment and a recent spike in food prices that curbed demand for groceries, data showed on Tuesday. Retail sales volumes, excluding cars and building materials, declined 0.3 percent in July from June after seasonal adjustments, government statistics agency IBGE said. Economists in a Reuters poll expected a decrease of 0.1 percent, following a 0.3 percent increase in June. Sales fell 5.3 percent from a year earlier, compared with expectations for a 4.9 percent drop in the Reuters poll. June had shown the same decline. The worst recession in generations in Latin America's largest economy has already led to more than 2 million job losses. Economists expect unemployment to remain above 10 percent for years, despite forecasts of a mild economic recovery starting in 2017. Supermarket and food sales fell 0.3 percent in July from June. IBGE said the decline stemmed partly from the recent increase in food prices, which has outpaced the average inflation rate because of unfavorable crop weather this year. Sales dropped in six of the eight retail sectors covered by IBGE, including apparel, books and home appliances. Sales rose for office supplies as well as medication and cosmetics. A broader measure of retail sales that includes automobiles and building materials fell 0.5 percent from June and 10.2 percent from July 2015, IBGE said. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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