SAO PAULO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Brazilian supermarket sales grew 5 percent in real terms in November from a year ago, industry group Abras said on Wednesday, suggesting resilient demand for food, toiletry and cleaning items despite a severe recession.
Supermarket sales rose 1.51 percent in the first 11 months of the year compared to a year earlier in inflation-adjusted terms. In October, sales had increased 0.71 percent in annual terms, according to Abras data.
"The 11-month data was better than we predicted," Márcio Milan, an Abras executive, said in a statement. He added Abras expects strong sales results for December, when consumers are expected to do the bulk of their Christmas shopping to take advantage of last-minute bargains.
Abras kept its 2016 sales growth forecast at 1 percent, but said the figure could be "slightly higher" depending on retailers' performance in the last month of the year.
The Abras national sales index compiles data from 2,800 outlets representing about 130 companies that account for 60 percent of supermarket sales in Brazil. (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Bernard Orr)