Brazilian retail sales fell back by 0.9% in October against the previous month but rose 2.5% against October of 2016, the Brazilian Census Bureau (IBGE) said Wednesday. The decline was broad, affecting both supermarket sales and big-ticket consumer goods. Economists said sales declined because of a high basis of comparison in September, when sales advanced 0.3% month-over-month. Retail sales rose at mid-year because of a government program freeing up some R$40 billion in funds held by individual unemployment insurance accounts. By October, consumer momentum from the program had run its course, economists said. Overall, retail sales are expected to deliver a modest increase for 2017, gaining ground next year on lower interest rates and accelerated job creation.
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