Brazilian automakers bumped up production and sales slightly in May against the previous month, but year-on-year figures still showed a steep decline, the National Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association (Anfavea) said Monday. May production of 175,300 was up 3.2 percent from April while sales of 167,500 advanced 2.8 percent. The improvement could signal that consumers have finally cleared away the worst of heavy debts. Meanwhile, Brazilian interest rates have remained broadly stable in recent weeks, with most economists predicting a decline in interest charges in the second half of the year. But year-on-year figures were still dismal, a reflection of Brazil’s stagnating economy and rising unemployment. January through May production of 834,050 was down 24.3 percent from the first five months of 2015 while production of 811,740 was down 26.6 percent.
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