| BRASILIA, Sept 16
BRASILIA, Sept 16 Brazil's services sector
bounced back in July, as a jump in tourism activity helped
offset a decline in transportation, government data showed on
Friday, adding to signs that the country's steep recession may
be starting to ease.
Services activity rose 0.7 percent in July from June after
seasonal adjustments following a 0.2 percent decline in the
previous month, the statistics agency IBGE said.
The sector shrank 4.5 percent from July 2015
, compared with a 3.4 percent year-on-year drop in
June, underscoring the depth of Brazil's downturn.
Brazil is undergoing its severest recession in at least
eight decades. Rising unemployment and stubbornly high inflation
have hampered services firms, which account for more than 60
percent of the country's economic activity.
However, in July, tourism activity grew 0.7 percent from
June, up from a 0.6 percent decline in the prior month, the IBGE
data showed. That helped offset a 0.3 percent decline in
transportation and mail services.
Professional and administrative services rose 0.3 percent
while telecommunications and information services were
Brazil's economy contracted 3.85 percent in 2015 and is on
course to shrink 3.2 percent this year, according to the median
forecast in a central bank survey of economists. It is seen
growing by 1.2 percent in 2017.
Some recent economic indicators have pointed to a moderation
in Brazil's recession. Investments grew in the second quarter as
companies raised spending on machinery, and consumer and
business confidence indexes have risen off record lows.
(Reporting by Silvio Cascione Editing by W Simon)