April 27, 2020 / 12:06 PM / a month ago

Brazil consumer, business confidence slumps to lowest on record -FGV

BRASILIA, April 27 (Reuters) - Consumer and business confidence in Brazil fell to the lowest on record in April as the coronavirus crisis gripped Latin America’s largest economy, surveys showed on Monday, with the outlook suggesting no sign of improvement in the coming months.

The monthly surveys, carried out by the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), showed record low confidence and optimism across the board, including intentions to buy consumer durable goods and the outlook for household finances.

The FGV’s broad consumer confidence index fell 22.0 points to 58.2, the lowest since the index was launched in 2005 and below the previous trough of 64.9 at the depths of the last recession in December 2015.

“Pessimism surrounding the coming months is homogeneous across income groups, and everyone ... is spending only on essential goods and services,” said survey coordinator Viviane Seda Bittencourt.

“It is still difficult to see a significant improvement in the coming months, given the high level of economic and political uncertainty,” she said.

The FGV’s business confidence index posted a record fall of 26.9 points in April to a new low of 61.2, FGV said.

Brazil’s economy is expected to enter a deep recession this year, contracting by more than 5%, according to International Monetary Fund and World Bank estimates. That would be the biggest economic crash in at least half a century, according to central bank data. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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