Brazil economic activity rises in November, points to solid fourth quarter GDP

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Economic activity in Brazil rose in November for the fourth month in a row, a central bank indicator showed on Thursday, pointing to fairly solid economic growth in the fourth quarter.

The central bank’s IBC-Br economic activity index, a leading indicator of gross domestic product (GDP), rose 0.18% in November from October, more than the 0.10% median estimate in a Reuters poll of economists.

In the three months to November, activity was up 0.75%, the central bank said.

The data tie in with other indicators for November showing solid if unspectacular growth in retail sales and the dominant services sector, and are more upbeat than recent purchasing managers index (PMI) figures.

Compared with the same month a year earlier, activity rose 1.10%, the central bank said, and in the three months to November activity was up 1.71% compared with the same period a year earlier.

In first 11 months of last year activity was up 0.95%, and in the year to November it was up 0.9%, the central bank said, largely in line with the growing consensus that the economy’s positive momentum accelerated into the fourth quarter from the third.

Latin America’s largest economy expanded by 0.6% in the third quarter of last year, more than expected and prompting many economists to revise up their 2019 and 2020 growth forecasts.

The government this week raised its 2019 GDP growth forecast to 1.1% from 0.9% previously, and its 2020 growth outlook to 2.4% from 2.3%.

(This story corrects first paragraph to show activity increased for 4 straight months)

Reporting by Jamie McGeever; editing by John Stonestreet and Chizu Nomiyama