Brazil Kicks Off Second Quarter With Big Retail Sales Miss

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s retail sales rose less than expected at the start of the second quarter, the latest sign that growth is cooling in Latin America’s largest economy.

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Sales increased 0.9% in April from the month prior, below the 1.7% median estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. From a year earlier, retail sales increased 2.2%, the national statistics institute reported Thursday.

The central bank is expected to pause its monetary easing campaign next week, leaving the benchmark rate at 10.5%, as it attempts to gain ground in the fight against inflation. Indications from President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva that the government will usher in more fiscal stimulus, which has lifted consumption so far, has stoked consumer prices and hit local assets on concerns public accounts will weaken.

--With assistance from Giovanna Serafim.

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