BRASILIA, July 27 (Reuters) - The outlook for Brazil's
economy improved for the fourth week in a row, a central bank
survey of economists showed on Monday, with signs of recovery
from the worst of the crisis lifting some of the heavy gloom
that had built up in recent months.
Brazil's gross domestic product will shrink 5.8% this year,
according to the central bank's weekly 'FOCUS' survey of around
100 economists, compared with a GDP fall of 5.95% forecast last
week and 6.5% a month ago.
That would still be the biggest annual downturn on record.
But officials say improving retail, electricity consumption and
industrial indicators as lockdown measures ease and businesses
reopen show the recovery is underway.
Central bank President Roberto Campos Neto said last week
the bank's own -6.4% GDP call for this year is too pessimistic,
and Economic Policy Secretary Adolfo Sachsida said the
contraction will be closer to the government's -4.7% forecast.
The latest 'FOCUS' survey also showed 2020 current account
deficit projections narrowing for a fifth consecutive week, to
$8.3 billion from $8.9 billion. The average forecast a month ago
was for a $13.5 billion deficit, and almost $40 billion in May.
Economists maintained their year-end interest rate outlook
at 2.00% for the fourth week in a row, the survey showed. The
central bank is expected to lower its benchmark Selic rate by 25
basis points to a new low of 2.00% next month.
(Reporting by Jamie McGeever
Editing by Nick Zieminski)