Brazil consumer confidence drops to lowest since January 2012

Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:04am EST

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* Consumer confidence number points to weak economy

* Index falls to 116.2 in February: think-tank FGV

SAO PAULO Feb 26 (Reuters) - Consumer confidence in Brazil fell in February for the fifth month in a row to the lowest since January 2012, adding to concerns that the nation's economic recovery might be faltering, a private survey showed on Tuesday.

Brazilian think tank Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) said its consumer confidence index fell to a reading of 116.2 in February from 117.9 in the previous month.

Despite the drop, the index remained above its historical average, FGV said in a report. Household consumption, supported by low unemployment and rising salaries, has been Brazil's main growth engine over the past decade.

The survey's barometer of the current economic situation dropped to a reading of 128.9 from 131.9 in January, the lowest since April 2010, while the gauge of future expectations slipped to a reading of 109.6 from 110.5, the lowest in one year.

FGV's consumer confidence survey is based on interviews conducted with around 2,000 people in seven large Brazilian cities between Jan. 31 and Feb. 23.

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