By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA, Oct 8 (Reuters)Brazilian retail sales rose to their highest on record in August, official figures showed on Thursday, as economic activity continued to recover from the worst of the nationwide lockdown measures from earlier this year.

The 3.4% rise from July was more than the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, and lifted the total seasonally adjusted volume of retail sales beyond the previous all-time high of October, 2014, according to statistics agency IBGE.

Retail sales excluding autos and construction materials rose 6.1% in August compared with the same month last year, IBGE said, less than 7.0% rise economists in the Reuters poll had expected.

July’s monthly increase of 5.2% was revised down slightly to 5.0%, but the fourth consecutive monthly rise in August took the seasonally-adjusted sales volume index up to its highest since the series was launched in 2000.

Five of the eight sectors covered by IBGE showed a rise in sales. Fabric, clothing and footwear rose 30.5% on the month, other personal and domestic goods rose 10.4%, and furniture and household electrical goods rose 4.6%, IBGE said.

Sales are still down 0.9% so far this year, and up only 0.5% over the past 12 months, IBGE said.

On a wider basis, including cars and building materials, retail sales rose 4.6% in August from the previous month and 3.9% from August 2019, IBGE said. Sales in the first eight months of this year, however, were still down 5.0%.

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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