(Recasts with new projection, adds details on inflation)
SAO PAULO, Sept 29 Brazilian supermarket
association Abras raised its 2016 sales forecast again on
Thursday after August data showed demand rising and prices
falling from a year earlier.
Sales are now expected to grow 0.7 percent discounting
inflation this year, Abras executives told journalists, up from
a prior projection of 0.45 percent growth and far better than
the 1.8 percent drop forecast earlier this year.
Supermarket sales in Brazil rose 1.7 percent in real terms
in August from the same month a year ago, but slipped 2.7
percent from a month before, according to Abras. Sales in the
first eight months of the year grew 0.8 percent in real terms
from a year ago.
"The sales index shows the economy is improving," said
Marcio Milan, an executive at the industry group Abras, striking
an optimistic tone after a painful two-year economic slump.
The Abras national sales index compiles data from 2,800
outlets representing about 130 companies that account for 60
percent of supermarket sales in Brazil.
A separate Abras survey showed that the cost of a basic
basket of food fell 0.27 percent in August from the previous
month, the first decline in a year.
Food inflation stoked by poor harvests of Brazilian staples
pushed up the price of the same basket 18 percent in the 12
months through August, according to the survey conducted in
collaboration with research firm GfK.
($1 = 3.24 Brazilian reais)
(Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Bill