* HSBC PMI rises to 52.2 from 50.2 in October
* Output, new orders increase
* Report follows disappointing Q3 GDP numbers
By Silvio Cascione
SAO PAULO, Dec 3 Brazil's manufacturing expanded
in November at the fastest rate in nearly two years, a private
survey showed on Monday, suggesting a gradual improvement after
surprisingly weak economic growth in the third quarter.
The HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index for the Brazilian
manufacturing sector rose to 52.2 in November from
50.2 in October, the highest in 20 months and above the 50 mark
that divides expansion from contraction.
New orders grew for the second straight month and at the
quickest pace since February 2011 as companies reported stronger
demand, offsetting a drop in new export orders.
The report compiled by Markit adds to evidence that a flurry
of stimulus measures by the government is slowly lifting
Brazilian manufacturers, who have been battered by the global
economic slowdown and high labor costs.
Brazil's economic recovery has been much slower than
expected. Government data on Friday showed Brazil's gross
domestic product expanded just 0.6 percent in the third quarter,
far below all forecasts in a Reuters poll.
The weak figures cast doubt on the improvement expected for
next year, and piled up pressure on President Dilma Rousseff to
enact much deeper reforms instead of relying mostly on targeted
tax breaks and interest rate cuts.
The level of employment in the manufacturing sector remained
practically unchanged in November, according to the PMI survey.
Inventories of finished products increased slightly,
reversing a small drop in October.
Prices of finished goods rose for the ninth straight month,
but at the slowest rate since July. Companies reported higher
costs of petrochemical products and transportation.
Brazil's statistics agency IBGE will release on Tuesday
official industrial output numbers for the month of
October. Leading indicators such as sales of corrugated paper
point to a recovery from a 1 percent drop in the previous month.