Brazil: Economic activity contracts in March
In March, economic activity fell 0.7% from the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, according to the Central Bank’s monthly indicator for economic activity (IBC-Br, Indice de Atividade Economica do Banco Central). The result contrasted February’s 0.1% contraction and undershot market analysts’ expectations of a softer 0.1% decrease. March’s poor performance rounded out an overall weak quarter in which economic activity declined 0.1% over the previous quarter, the first quarterly drop since Q4 2016. The result suggests the recovery in the Brazilian economy has cooled.
On an annual basis, economic activity shrunk 0.7% in March, which represented the largest contraction since December 2016, and contrasted the revised 0.5% rise recorded in February (previously reported: +0.7% year-on-year). Annual average growth in economic activity inched down from 1.3% in February to 1.1% in March.