November 14, 2019 / 1:40 PM / a month ago

Brazil economic activity picks up in September

SAO PAULO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Economic activity in Brazil accelerated in September, closing the third quarter on the upswing and offering hope that the country’s long-struggling economy may be turning the corner.

The central bank’s IBC-Br economic activity index, a leading indicator of gross domestic product (GDP), rose 0.44% in September from August, well above 0.07% growth the month before.

The index climbed 0.91% in the third quarter from the second quarter, according to the seasonally-adjusted data. Compared to September 2018, the index rose 2.11%, the central bank said.

IHS Markit’s composite PMI comprising manufacturing and service sector index data over the July-September period pointed to third quarter GDP growth of around 0.8%, according to data released this week. That would be double the 0.4% quarterly GDP growth posted in the second quarter.

Brazil’s economy is expected to grow by less than 1.0% this year, according to estimates from the government, central bank and most private sector economists. The central bank has already cut interest rates to a record low 5.00% and has signaled it will reduce them further next month. (Reporting by Jose de Castro Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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