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Brazil Economic Activity March 2024

Brazil: Economic activity drops at sharpest rate since August 2023 in March

The economy stumbled at the end of the first quarter of 2024: Economic activity declined 0.3% month on month in seasonally adjusted terms in March (February: +0.3% mom). The downturn marked the worst reading since August 2023 and surprised markets slightly to the downside.

On an annual basis, economic activity fell 2.2% in March (February: +2.5% yoy), the worst result since October 2020. Accordingly, annual average economic activity growth fell to 1.7% in March (February: +2.4%), pointing to a worsening trend.

Services output rebounded in March, tallying a 0.4% month-on-month seasonally adjusted expansion, improving from February’s unexpected 0.9% fall.

Meanwhile, retail sales flatlined in March, slowing from February’s 1.0% month-on-month seasonally adjusted increase. Conversely, in the same month, industrial output growth accelerated to 0.9% in month-on-month seasonally adjusted terms (February: +0.1% mom). In April, industrial output deteriorated and fell 0.5% month on month.

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