Brazilian retail sales grew more than expected in July for the second straight month, data showed on Thursday, as domestic demand supported an incipient recovery in the world’s sixth largest economy.
Retail sales volumes in Brazil rose 1.4 percent in July from June, according to government statistics agency IBGE, above the median forecast of 1.0 percent growth in a Reuters poll of 26 economists.
Latin America’s biggest economy has relied on its vast consumer market to avoid a recession over the past year. Low unemployment and government tax breaks have also boosted sales of automobiles and home appliances in the past few months.
But rising household debt levels have left economists divided on how much longer Brazilian consumers can drive the bulk of economic growth.
Forecasts for monthly retail sales growth in July ranged from 0.0 percent to an increase of 1.9 percent.
Office supplies led sales growth in July after a sharp June drop and apparel sales picked up for the second month in a row.
Revised data showed sales volumes grew 1.6 percent in June from the prior month, up from a previously reported 1.5 percent.
July’s retail sales rose 7.1 percent from the year-earlier period, the IBGE added, slightly more than the 6.9 percent median estimate in the Reuters poll. Forecasts ranged from a gain of 5.0 percent to a rise of 10.0 percent.
Source: Thomson Reuters