By Rogerio Jelmayer

SAO PAULO -- Consumer confidence in Brazil declined in December, hitting its lowest level since June, as the country's economic performance failed to regain traction and its labor market continued deteriorating.

Brazil's main consumer confidence index dropped to 73.3 points from 79.1 points in November, the Getulio Foundation said Friday.

With the continued effects of Brazil's prolonged recession damaging its labor market, Brazilians are less optimistic, according to economists.

The index remains well below the neutral level. The confidence index has a 1-to-200-point range, with 100 considered an indicator of neutral sentiment.

The country's economy is expected to shrink 3.5% this year, according to the Finance Ministry, after contracting 3.8% last year.

The consumer-confidence index polled 2,007 families in Brazil's seven largest cities, from Dec. 1 to Dec. 20. It measured their willingness to purchase various consumer goods and gauged expectations about employment, income and economic opportunities.

Write to Rogerio Jelmayer at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 23, 2016 05:35 ET (10:35 GMT)

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