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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Industrial Output Rises 4.8 Percent in October

Brazil's industrial output rose 4.8 percent in October, which was the fastest pace in five months. It seems the impact of 12 interest rate cuts in a row are now beginning to filter down into the economy.

Output expanded 4.8 from the same month last year, compared with 1.3 percent rise in September, Brazil's National Statistics Agency said in Rio de Janeiro today. The increase was in line with the median 4.8 percent forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 21 economists.

``Recent economic reports, such as faster job creation in manufacturing, point to stronger industrial production in the fourth quarter and make me believe that the worst is over,'' Zeina Latif, an economist with ABN Amro Bank NV's Brazilian unit, said in a phone interview from Sao Paulo.

The central bank has slashed the benchmark lending rate 6.5 percentage points to 13.25 percent since September 2005 in a bid to bolster a flagging economic recovery. The lowest lending rates in at least two decades and the prospect of additional cuts in 2007 has begun to stoke consumer demand for goods such as cars, thus helping boost production, Latif said.

Registrations of new cars, sport utility vehicles and trucks made in Brazil and abroad rose 15 percent in November to 182,732, the highest level this year, after expanding 27 percent in October from a year earlier, the fastest pace in more than two years, according to the country's automakers association, known as Anfavea, in a report published today.

Manufacturing employment increased 3.3 percent in October from a year earlier, the fastest pace since in seven months, a Confederation of Brazilian Industry report said Dec. 5.

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