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UPDATE on 1-Brazil's industrial output up in February, but a bigger picture is less clear



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By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA, April 2 (Reuters) – Brazil's industrial output increased in February, driven by strong gains in consumer goods and capital production, the IBGE statistics agency said on Tuesday.

The 2.0 per cent increase in industrial production compared to the same month last year was a three-month output run cut annually, and decreased year-on-year to 0.2 per cent, said t IBGE.

Compared to January, output rose 0.7 per cent, mostly reversing the 0.7 per cent fall in the first month of the year. Sectors that showed the greatest increase were autos and lorries up 6.7 per cent), food products up 3.2 per cent, and oil and biofuels up 4.3 per cent.

In terms of wider economic segments, capital goods production jumped 4.6 per cent on the month and 7.0 per cent on the year, while consumer durable goods output rose 3.7 per cent on the month and 12.2 per cent on the year, IBGE said.

But although these figures show signs of strength and recovery, Brazil's recent industrial performance has been a mixed bag.

“Today's data suggests that most of the weakness in industry is behind us. But, similarly, the recovery will be weak, ”William Jackson, the chief economics of markets developing in Capital Economics, wrote in a note.

There were two additional working days in February this year compared to last year, IBGE noted, and to measure it on an accumulated basis over the previous 12 months, the output was up only 0.5 per cent. one hundred years earlier.

In terms of that accumulated 12-month measure, output growth has been steadily slowing since July last year, and production in the first two months of 2019 is down 0.2 per cent from the first two months of 2018, according to figures. IBGE.

Last month, Brazil's central bank reduced its forecast for industrial production growth this year to 1.8 per cent of 2.9 per cent. (Reported by Jamie McGeever; Edited by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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