Brazil: Consumer confidence virtually unchanged at near-record low in March
March 26, 2014
In March, the consumer confidence index published by the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV, Fundacao Getulio Vargas) inched up a seasonally-adjusted 0.1% over the previous month, which contrasted the 1.7% decrease registered in February. The index remained virtually unchanged, edging up from the 107.1 points tallied in February-the lowest level since May 2009-to 107.2 points in March. March's result reflected that households' assessments of the current economic situation improved over the previous month, while consumers' expectations for the future of the economy did not change compared to February. The FGV confidence index spans a range of 1 to 200 points, where 100 points is considered neutral. While consumer confidence is still above the 100-point threshold indicating optimism, a virtually-uninterrupted downward trend has been in place since the index reached its peak in April 2012, which does not bode well for growth in private consumption going forward. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast participants expect private consumption to expand 2.0% in 2014, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2015, panelists expect private consumption to increase 2.1%.