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The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for Brazil, Together with Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Fell in February

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® for Brazil, together with Fundacao Getulio Vargas (TCB/FGV Brazil LEI), decreased 1.4 percent in February. The index now stands at 124.9 (2004 = 100), following a 0.8 percent decline in January and a 0.3 percent increase in December. Only one of the eight components contributed positively to the index in February.

Jing Sima, Economist at The Conference Board, said, "The Leading Economic Index declined in February for the second consecutive month, and its six-month growth has fallen back to negative territory. Despite the sharp improvement in the fourth quarter GDP, the persistent and broad-based weakness in the LEI suggests that that pace of growth is unlikely to last through the first half of this year."

Paulo Picchetti, Economist at FGV/IBRE, added, "The deterioration of the Brazilian Leading Economic Index in February reflects growing concerns about deteriorating trade balance and the negative impact of the drought on food and energy prices.  The modest growth in the Coincident Economic Index, a measure of current economic activity, coupled with the widespread weakness in the LEI suggests there is little sign of an improvement in economic conditions in Brazil compared to last year."

The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® for Brazil, together with Fundacao Getulio Vargas (TCB/FGV Brazil CEI), which measures current economic activity, increased 0.1 percent in February to 129.2 (2004 = 100), following a 0.9 percent increase in January and a 0.6 percent decline in December. Three of the six components contributed positively to the index in February.

TCB/FGV Brazil LEI aggregates eight economic indicators that measure economic activity in Brazil. Each of the LEI components has proven accurate on its own. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out so-called "noise" to show underlying trends more clearly.

www.conference-board.org

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