June 2, 2017 / 12:57 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's industry unexpectedly strengthens in April

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    RIO DE JANEIRO, June 2 (Reuters) - Industrial output in
Brazil unexpectedly grew in April for the first time since
December, government data showed on Friday, underpinning hopes
of a gradual economic recovery.
    Industrial production rose 0.6 percent in April from March
after seasonal adjustments, government statistics agency IBGE
said, compared with expectations for zero growth in a Reuters
poll of economists.
    IBGE also revised up March figures to show a smaller decline
of 1.3 percent in output, down from an originally reported drop
of 1.8 percent.
    Brazilian manufacturers are slowly recovering from the
country's worst recession on record, aided by lower interest
rates and a pick-up in exports. Economists expect output to rise
1.3 percent this year, recovering only part of last year's 6.6
percent plunge, according to a weekly survey.
    Brazil's industry is operating at 2009 levels, 19.8 percent
below its historical peak, IBGE economist André Macedo said.
    Output rose in 13 of the 24 industrial activities covered by
IBGE, with pharmaceutical goods up 19.8 percent and automobile
production up 3.4 percent from March. 
    Production of capital goods such as machinery, an indicator
of investments, rose 1.5 percent, IBGE said.
    Output in April retreated 4.5 percent from a year earlier

 (Percent change)                              m-m     y-y
 Capital goods                                 1.5    -5.5
 Intermediate goods                            2.1    -3.0
 Consumer goods                               -0.4    -7.9
     Durable consumer goods                    1.9     0.6
     Semi-durable and non-durable consumer    -0.8    -9.8
 Industrial output                             0.6    -4.5
 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione in Brasilia and Rodrigo Viga
Gaier in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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