Brazilian Service Sector Growth Quickens In December

Brazil's service sector expanded at a faster pace in December, data from a survey by HSBC Bank and Markit Economics showed Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the service sector rose to 54.8 in December from 52.6 in November, marking the strongest growth since March 2010. A PMI reading above 50 suggests expansion in the sector, while one below indicates contraction.

New business received by Brazilian service providers increased at the fastest pace in five months in December. Outstanding business depleted markedly during the month, while employment increased at the sharpest pace in 21 months.

Input price inflation accelerated to the highest in four months in in December. Service providers partly passed on higher cost burdens to clients, leading to further growth in output prices which increased at the fastest pace since May.

At the same time, the composite output index, which measures performance of the service sector and and manufacturing sector, increased at a faster rate to 53.2 in December.

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