UPDATE 1-Brazil March retail surge point to heated economy

* March retail sales beat expectations on office equipment

* February retail figures revised higher

* Nominal sales rise 0.9 pct from February
(Adds February revision, breakdown of data, nominal sales)

SAO PAULO, May 12 (BestGrowthStock) – Retail sales in Brazil jumped
more than expected in March and figures for February were
revised higher, underscoring expectations of a surge in Latin
America’s largest economy that could continue pressuring
consumer prices.

Sales volumes climbed 1.6 percent in March from February
(BRRSL=ECI: ), statistics agency IBGE said on Wednesday.

Sales had been expected to climb 0.75 percent, according to
the median forecast of 22 analysts surveyed by Reuters.
Estimates ranged from a decline of 0.6 percent to an increase
of 1.6 percent.

February retail sales were revised to 1.8 percent over
January from a previously reported expansion of 1.6 percent.

Five of the eight sectors surveyed by the IBGE showed an
increase in sales, led by an 8.6 percent surge in office and
computer equipment and 1.5 percent gains for both clothing
sales and fuels.

Retail sales jumped 15.7 percent year-on-year in March,
more than the 14.1 percent median forecast in the survey. The
estimates ranged from 9.9 percent to 17.5 percent.

The March yearly expansion was the largest since the IBGE
began the data series for retail sales in 2001.

Nominal sales, as measured by total sales receipts and
unadjusted for inflation, firmed 0.9 percent month-on-month in
March and were surged 19.1 percent from a year earlier.

Retail sales volumes, unlike total receipts via cash or
credit cards, exclude inflation which could distort
comparisons.

For the IBGE’s retail sales report, see:
http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/presidencia/noticias/noticia_visualiza.php?id_noticia=1611&id_pagina=1

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(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier and Denise Luna, Writing
by Elzio Barreto)

UPDATE 1-Brazil March retail surge point to heated economy