Ken Rapoza – Forbes, 07/12/2012
The once booming South American powerhouse of Brazil will grow less than the U.S. this year. The U.S. economy is forecast to grow by around 2 percent in 2012, the best of the advanced economies. Meanwhile, Brazil’s GDP momentum has completely stopped, making it the worst performer of the big four emerging markets, the BRICs.
Brazil’s retail sales fell in May by the most in more than three years despite declining consumer loan rates. The volume of sales declined 0.8 percent, down from a revised 0.7 percent increase in April, the Brazilian Institute for Demographics and Statistics, IBGE, said Wednesday. The fall was the biggest since November 2008.
On Thursday, the Central Bank’s monthly economic activity index, the IBC-Br, dropped 0.02 percent month over month (seasonally adjusted), from a downward revised 0.10 percent gain in April (was 0.22 percent). The IBC-Br is considered a GDP proxy by the market, and so far the index has show economic activity to reach 1.09 percent from May 2011, compared with 0.25 percent growth in April, year on year.