By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – With economic indicators improving, the Brazilian business community is betting on positive end-of-year sales results. The Brazilian Retail Confidence Index (Icec), calculated by the National Confederation of Commerce of Goods, Services and Tourism (CNC), reached 109.3 points in November, an increase of 10.6 percent over the same period last year.

Brazil, Brasilia,Retailers are more optimistic about end-of-year sales in 2017
Retailers are more optimistic about end-of-year sales in 2017, photo by Andre Borges/Agencia Brasilia.

“The gradual improvement in economic activity, the slowdown in inflation and the reduction of interest and the cost of credit have benefited the purchasing power of families and have gradually boosted trade sales. In addition, there is a great expectation of merchants for year-end sales,” CNC economic advisor Juliana Serapio told reporters on Thursday.

The entity says that preparations for the holiday season show a positive impact on investment intentions, which increased by 9.5 percent in November in the year-on-year comparison. The entity estimates a growth of 4.3 percent in retail sales volume in Christmas of 2017, the first increase for the period since 2014.

And the optimism in regards to economic recovery does not end with the seasonal sales. According to the survey conducted by the Confederation, 82.8 percent of those business entrepreneurs interviewed said they believed the economy would improve in the next six months.

In another survey, released earlier this week, the CNC revealed that the index that measures household consumption intention reached 80.2 points in November 2017, the highest level of the indicator since August 2015.

“The favorable trend of inflation, coupled with a slight decrease in the cost of credit and recovery the purchasing power of wages, has freed a larger share of the household budget for consumption,” noted CNC economist Bruno Fernandes, in his survey report.

The Retail Confidence Index (Icec) detects retail trends by surveying over six thousand companies in all of Brazil’s state capitals. All surveys conducted by CNC are on a 0 to 200-point scale, with anything over 100 points being considered positive.

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