Brazil: Economic activity moderates in February
April 13, 2011
In February, economic activity expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.3% over the previous month, according to the Central Bank's monthly indicator for economic activity (IBC-Br, indice de Atividade Economica do Banco Central). The reading represents a deceleration compared to the 0.7% increase registered in January, which marked the fastest monthly expansion since March 2010. In February, the economy grew for the tenth straight month. In part, the reading was affected by factors not considered in the seasonal adjustment, as February 2011 had more working days than in previous years, with the Carnival taking place in March this year. Market analysts expect economic activity to decline slightly in March. On an annual basis, economic activity expanded 7.0% in February, up from a 5.1% increase in January. However, the trend points downwards, as the low comparison base of 2009 fades. Accordingly, annual average growth moderated from 7.6% in January to 7.3% in February.