Christmas sales up in Brazil despite weak economic growth

Rio de Janeiro, Dec 27 (IANS) Brazil's retail sales in the week before Christmas rose 5.1 percent this year despite lacklustre growth figures, the country's leading market data company Serasa Experian said Wednesday.

As shown by the Serasa Experian indicator, the retail sales increase, mainly attributed to "good payment conditions", was also much higher than the 2.8-percent rise in 2011, reported Xinhua.

In Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city, Christmas sales went up 5.4 percent from the same period last year.

The 2012 Christmas retail sales can be considered good, given the weak economic growth scenario, said Serasa Experian.

The Brazilian economy grew 0.9 percent year-on-year in the third quarter and in the nine months starting January, Brazil's GDP registered a minimal growth of 0.7-percent.

The low GDP growth was attributed to the poor performance of the industrial sector, which shrank 1.1 percent in the first nine months of the year. The agricultural sector grew 0.8 percent in the same period, and the tertiary sector grew 1.5 percent.

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