US, WASHINGTON (NEWS OBSERVATORY) — Brazil’s economy grew 1.1% last year, official data showed, reports Reuters .
The weak growth of the Brazilian economy in the last quarter of 2019 indicated a weak recovery after the recession of 2015-16.
The slowdown in the last three months of the year in quarterly terms indicated a weak start in 2020 before the outbreak of coronavirus, which suddenly cast a shadow on the global economy.
Statistical Agency IBGE reported that the largest economy in Latin America in the fourth quarter of 2019 grew by 1.7% compared to the same quarter of the previous year, which is higher than the average of 1.5% in a Reuters poll and growth of 1.2% in July September.
Brazil’s economy grew by 0.5% in the fourth quarter of last year, which coincided with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Reuters and a slightly slower growth of 0.6% in the previous quarter.
The main drivers of growth in the fourth quarter were an increase in industrial production by 0.2% and the volume of services by 0.6%. Net trade was also positive: exports grew by 2.6%, imports fell by 3.2%, and government spending grew by 0.4%.
As noted in IBGE, the greatest slowdown was due to a fall in investment in the main business by 3.3% and a decrease in activity in the agribusiness by 0.4%.
1.1% growth in 2019 was lower than the 1.3% recorded both in 2017 and in 2018.
Given the expected damage from an outbreak of coronavirus, which is currently exacerbating the weak effect of “transfer” from the end of last year, economists have lowered their forecasts for this year to below 2%, with some not excluding the possibility of a mild recession.
Rapidly worsening economic prospects are likely to increase pressure on President Jair Bolsonara and his Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes.
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