BRASILIA, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Brazilian supermarket sales rose sharply in August and by some measures at the fastest pace in five years, industry figures indicated on Friday, a sign that an economic recovery may be strengthening.
Sales were up 4.25% from the previous month and 7.1% over the same month last year, according to industry body Abras, which also said inflation-adjusted growth in the first eight months of this year was 3.39%.
That was the fastest growth since 2014, it said.
Abras expects sales growth of 3% this year, but its president, Joao Sanzovo Neto, was only cautiously optimistic.
“Although hiring has increased, unemployment remains high, many people are in debt, and the economic recovery is still not what we would like it to be, which affects consumer spending,” Sanzovo Neto said.
“But we expect a good end to the year, and the coming months will be decisive for the supermarket sector,” he said. (Reporting by Paula Laier Writing by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Kevin Liffey)