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Brazil's services sector grows 1.2 pct in August
Last Updated: 2018-10-17 10:50 | Xinhua
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Brazil's services sector, which accounts for about 70 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), grew 1.2 percent in August compared to July, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said Tuesday.

It was the best showing for the month of August since 2011, the IBGE said.

In comparison to the same month last year, the services sector grew 1.6 percent, making it the third positive rate of the year, according to the report released by the IBGE.

In this year's accumulation through August, the sector registered a 0.5 percent decline compared to the first eight months of 2017, while for the past 12 months, the decline was 0.6 percent.

"After a long period, the services sector begins to show positive signs based on the depressed comparison base we have," IBGE managing director Rodrigo Lobo said.

However, even with the August figures, the services sector was still 11.5 percent below the highest point registered in its history which occurred in November 2014.

In May, the sector reached its lowest historical level, when it was 14.9 percent below the record, which is mainly due to the 10-day nationwide truck drivers' strike occurred in that month.

According to the IBGE, the August growth was contributed by the transportation sector which saw increases of 3.2 percent in comparison to July and professional services with a growth of 2.2 percent.

On the other hand, services provided to families fell 0.8 percent, while services of information and communication fell 0.6 percent, according to the IBGE.

The year-to-date total showed 56.6 percent of the 166 types of services analyzed by the IBGE registered a decline compared to the same period last year.

The inconsistency of the sector showed the difficulties faced by the Brazilian economy as it tried to climb out of the 2015 and 2016 recession, the worst in its history.

In spite of this, Brazil, the largest economy in Latin America, grew 1 percent in 2017, although the high unemployment that hit 13 million people slowed down domestic consumption and hindered further growth.

Both the government and the financial market made initial forecasts that the country's GDP would grow 3 percent in 2018, but that forecast has changed with estimates falling below 1.5 percent.

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