Christmas season spending in Brazil rose 4.74 percent this year compared to 2016, the Credit Protection Service (SPC Brasil) and National Confederation of Trade said on Tuesday.
It is the first time the seasonal spending, covering the Dec. 18 to 24 shopping days, has seen an increase after three years in a row of shrinking sales, the report said.
In 2016, sales in the week before Christmas fell 1.46 percent. In 2015, sales plummeted 15.84 percent, and in 2014, they dipped 0.7 percent.
Brazilians spent an average of 462 reals (140 U.S. dollars) on Christmas presents, for an estimated total of 51 billion reals (15.4 billion U.S. dollars) during the Christmas season in 2017.
"More difficult access to credit and high interest rates are still restricting the purchasing power of Brazilians, but with the economy showing signs of recovery, consumers went shopping with less trepidation than in recent years," President of SPC Brasil Roque Pellizzaro said.