Brazilian retail sales grow 2 pct in 2017

Official figures indicate that annual retail sales in Brazil were 2 percent greater last year than in 2016, increasing for the first time in three years, Xinhua reports.

The Chinese state-run news agency, citing data given by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, says the increase was due in particular to growth in sales of utilities and household appliances, which rose by 9.5 percent, and growth in sales of textiles and clothing, which rose by 7.6 percent.

But the report quotes the institute as advising caution about the prospects for retailing.

In December retail sales were 3 percent greater than a year earlier but 1.5 percent lower than in November, Xinhua says.