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Brazilian economic activity surged in February, before the impact of the second wave COVID-19 According to Reuters

© Reuters. Disease coronavirus (COVID-19), in Sao Paulo

By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s economic activity surged in February, a central bank index showed Monday, one of the strongest gains on record and a sign that the economy was well stable before it is affected by the deadly second wave of COVID. -19 pandemic.

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes pointed out that the tax collection and official jobs in January and February are proof of this. Now he can add the IBC-Br Performance Index, a leading indicator of gross domestic product.

The index rose 1.7% seasonally adjusted in February, marking the 10th consecutive month of increase and following the previous month’s adjusted 1.3% gain.

This is the ninth largest increase since the series started in 2003, according to Refinitiv data. By this measure, the largest economy in Latin America in February returned to the size it was in March 2015.

(PICTURE – Brazil’s Economic Activity Index: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/oakpewedgpr/IBCBR.png)

The seasonally adjusted index in February stood at 143.24, well above the 139.98 in February last year before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the economy to a standstill and caused a decline in activity. biggest annual year since 1990.

However, the central bank chart above shows that despite this strong rebound, Latin America’s largest economy as measured by the IBC-Br index is still 3.7% smaller than its level. peaked in December 2013, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The outlook remains uncertain, as the second pandemic shows no signs of abating, the unemployment rate remains high and the government’s emergency aid to millions of poor people will be only a fraction of that. with payments from last year.

The IBC-Br index has risen 1% on a seasonally adjusted basis since February last year, the central bank said.

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