May 6, 2014 / 1:03 PM / 6 years ago

Brazil services cool in April despite upcoming World Cup

BRASILIA, May 6 (Reuters) - Growth in Brazil’s services sector slowed in April as business sentiment soured, a survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting companies increasingly expect little of the windfall they once hoped would come with hosting the upcoming soccer World Cup.

HSBC’s Purchasing Managers Index for Brazilian services dropped on a seasonally adjusted basis to 50.4 in April from 51.0 in March. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

Business expectations in hotels, restaurants, banks and other services firms worsened to their weakest level since Brazil’s PMI series began in 2007, while new orders dropped to their lowest since August, HSBC said.

About 600,000 foreign tourists are expected for the month-long soccer tournament kicking off on June 12.

Yet, hotels in host cities such as Curitiba and Sao Paulo are scrambling to fill rooms for the event. If the higher-than-expected vacancy is any indication, whatever boost comes from hosting one of the world’s largest sport events may be too small to lift Brazil’s economy out of its four-year malaise.

HSBC’s Composite Index for the country, incorporating weaker manufacturing activity data released last week, dropped to 49.9 in April from 51.0 in March. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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