(Adds details from report)
SAO PAULO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Economic activity in Brazil rose for a second consecutive month in September, and closed the third quarter at its highest level in a year, data showed on Thursday, offering hope that the country’s long-struggling economy may be turning a corner.
The data, from the central bank’s IBC-Br economic activity index, is in line with other data showing improvements in retail, service and industrial sectors, and comes as the government pushes ahead with an economic reform program.
Analysts have also upwardly revised expectations for gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
The central bank’s IBC-Br economic activity index, a leading indicator of GDP, rose 0.44% in September from August, well above 0.07% growth the month before.
The index climbed 0.91% in the third quarter from the second, according to the seasonally adjusted data, the highest quarterly increase since the third quarter of 2018.
Compared to September 2018, the index rose 2.11%, the central bank said.
IHS Markit’s composite PMI comprising manufacturing and service sector index data over the July-September period pointed to third-quarter GDP growth of around 0.8%, according to data released this week. That would be double the 0.4% GDP growth posted in the second quarter.
Improved data has led to upwardly revised economic expectations, with the economy now seen growing 0.92% in 2019 and 2.08% in 2020, according to the central bank’s Focus survey.
The central bank has already cut interest rates to a record low 5.00% and has signaled it will reduce them further next month. (Reporting by Jose de Castro Editing by Nick Zieminski and Bernadette Baum)