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By Lucy Jordan, Senior Contributing Reporter

BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL – Retail sales in Brazil have seen their first annual drop in almost a decade, prompting debate about whether Brazil’s consumer boom – the engine behind its economic growth for the past ten years – is finally coming to a halt.

Retail sales contracted by 0.2 percent year-on-year in February, according to IBGE, the national statistics agency. Supermarket sales dropped by 1 percent, while personal and household items saw a 2.9 percent decline in sales.

Chief Emerging Markets Economist Neil Shearing for Capital Economics said in a Latin America . . .

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