(Adds year-on-year data, background on retail sales)
BRASILIA Jan 13 Brazil's economy got a slight
but unexpected boost in November as early holiday discounts
helped lift retail sales to provide a small relief in the long
Economic activity grew 0.20 percent in November from October
after a drop of 0.15 percent the previous month, according to
the central bank's IBC-Br index on Friday.
The median forecast of economists in a Reuters poll was for
a decline of 0.10 percent.
The index measures activity in agriculture, industry and
services and is considered as a proxy for official gross
domestic product data.
Brazil's economy is expected to have shrunk more than 3
percent in 2016 for the second year in a row, part of the
country's deepest recession ever recorded.
A surprise increase in retail sales in November helped boost
the index. Economists said, however, that sales probably fell
in December as consumers were only anticipating their holiday
shopping because of Black Friday discounts.
November's small rise in economic activity was nonetheless
the strongest since June. Compared with November 2015, activity
fell 2.02 percent, the central bank said.
(Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)