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UPDATE 2-Black Friday gives one-off boost to retail sales in Brazil
January 10, 2017 / 11:34 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Black Friday gives one-off boost to retail sales in Brazil

(Adds comments, background on polling, market reaction)
    By Silvio Cascione
    BRASILIA, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Retail sales in Brazil rose
more than forecast in November as early holiday discounts
boosted demand for electronics and home appliances, offering
temporary relief amid expectations of a weaker December. 
    Retail sales volumes excluding cars and building materials
rose 2.0 percent in November from October after falling for four
consecutive months, figures from government statistics agency
IBGE showed on Tuesday. 
    The increase, the sharpest since July 2013, far exceeded the
rise of 0.4 percent that economists in a Reuters poll expected.
    The November surprise reinforces the growing popularity of
Black Friday discounts in Brazil. Sales rose 2.1 percent from
October for home appliances and furniture, and increased 4.3
percent for computers and office supplies. 
    "The performance of these segments in November suggests some
early shopping for Christmas, a trend that has strengthened
every year," IBGE said in a statement. 
    In 2014 and 2015, November sales also surpassed market
expectations by a wide margin, only to plunge in December.
    "The November picture is clouded by the Black Friday
effect," economists with São Paulo-based consultancy MCM wrote
in a note. "The likely anticipation of Christmas shopping should
mean that sales have dropped in December." 
    Black Friday took place on Nov. 25 even as Brazilians do not
traditionally celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday that precedes
it in the United States.
    The MCM economists said they saw no signs that the retail
sector would stabilize in the near term. Brazil has been stuck
in a recession since late 2014, with more than 12 million
unemployed. 
    Sales fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier, less sharply
than the Reuters poll respondents' expectations of a 5.45
percent drop. 
    Yields on interest rate futures rose slightly as traders
reduced bets on an aggressive rate cut by the central bank on
Wednesday. 
    A broader retail measure that includes sales of automobiles
and building materials rose 0.6 percent from October with
seasonal adjustments.

 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Larry King and Lisa
Von Ahn)

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