July 24, 2020 / 12:07 PM / 18 days ago

Brazil consumer confidence rises in July, but pace slows

BRASILIA, July 24 (Reuters) - Consumer confidence in Brazil rose for the third month in a row in July, a survey showed on Friday, extending a V-shaped recovery from the worst of the coronavirus crisis although at a slower pace than the month before.

While the monthly survey carried out by the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) showed growing optimism for an economic recovery in the second half of the year, consumers remained concerned about their financial and employment outlook.

The FGV’s broad consumer confidence index rose 7.7 points to 78.8 points in July, continuing the rebound from April’s record low of 58.2.

But that was smaller than June’s 9.0 point rise, and the index remains 9.0 points below February’s pre-crisis level of 87.9.

“Consumer confidence continued to recover in July, mainly due to the improvement in expectations regarding the economy,” said Viviane Seda Bittencourt, who coordinated the survey for the FGV, a higher education institution and think-tank.

“But ... the consumer still does not see his personal finances improving over the next six months. The pandemic appears to be having a more pronounced effect on consumers, who still feel threatened by unemployment and loss of income, than businesses,” she said.

Brazil’s economy is expected to register its biggest annual downturn on record this year, but government and central bank officials say recent indicators suggest it will not be as severe as many analysts had feared only a few months ago.

Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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