UPDATE 1-Brazil retail sales surprisingly strong again in August
* Sales volumes rise 0.9 pct, above top forecast
* Follows upwardly revised 2.1 pct jump in July
SAO PAULO Oct 15 (Reuters) - Brazilian retail sales jumped unexpectedly again in August, as robust household spending helped carry Latin America's biggest economy through a rough third quarter.
Sales volumes rose 0.9 percent in August from July , the government statistics agency IBGE said on Tuesday, better than the most optimistic outlook in a Reuters poll of 29 economists. Their median forecast was for a contraction of 0.1 percent.
Rebounding consumer confidence and cooling inflation at supermarkets boosted spending in six of eight categories tracked by IBGE, suggesting Brazilians have recovered their appetite for shopping after a rocky first half of the year.
Leading the August growth was a 7.6 percent surge in sales of computing and communications hardware and office supplies. Analysts have pointed to booming demand for smartphones and tablets as a key support for retailers like Grupo Pão de Açúcar SA in recent months.
Strong August sales followed an upwardly revised 2.1 percent jump in July, which also defied tepid early expectations.
That means family spending, bolstered by ongoing government stimulus, may support economic growth in the third quarter as industrial output swings from expansion to contraction.
August retail sales grew 6.2 percent from a year earlier , the IBGE added, more than the 4.6 percent median estimate in the Reuters poll. Forecasts ranged from a gain of 2.5 percent to 5.9 percent.
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