Brazil services sector confidence soars in July to highest in 7 years -FGV

BRASILIA, July 29 (Reuters) - Brazilian service sector confidence has surged to its highest in seven years, according to a survey on Thursday, as the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination program and easing of lockdown restrictions fueled widespread optimism for the coming months.

The Getulio Vargas Foundation's (FGV) services sector confidence index rose 4.2 points to 98.0 points in July, the fourth consecutive rise and the highest since March, 2014.

"The result stems from an improvement in both time horizons (current conditions and expectations), but especially in companies' expectations for increased demand in the next few months for services that were shunned during the crisis," said FGV economist Rodolpho Tobler.

Services account for around 70% of all economic activity in Brazil, and a recovery in the sector is crucial to sustaining wider economic growth.

The current conditions index rose 1.7 points to 90.4, the highest since February last year, while the expectations index jumped 6.5 points to 105.6, the highest since November 2012, FGV said. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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