By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s 2014 Gross Domestic Product results surprised government officials by growing 0.1 percent last year and totaling R$5.2 trillion (approximately US$1.7 trillion), according to the IBGE (Brazil’s Statistics Bureau). Earlier this week Brazil’s Central Bank had forecast a retraction of the GDP by 0.1 percent for 2014.
The country’s economic results for 2014, the last year of President Rousseff’s first term, were drastically different from the results of her first year as president, in 2010, when the country’s GDP 7.5 percent, the largest economic growth since 1986.
According to the IBGE, the better-than-expected 2014 results were mainly due to the growth of 0.7 percent in the services sector and the agribusiness sector, which grew by 0.4 percent. The industry sector, however, showed a growth retraction of 1.2 percent for the year.
The government agency also released the results for the fourth quarter of 2014, showing a GDP growth of 0.3 percent in relation to the third quarter of 2013. In comparison to the fourth quarter of 2013 the last three months of 2014 registered a retraction of 0.2 percent in growth.
As President Rousseff enters her second term, forecasts are calling for a very difficult 2015 in terms of economic results. According to financial analysts inflation is likely to stay well above the government’s target (of 6.5 percent) possibly reaching above eight percent. Analysts also forecast a retraction in both the GDP (of 0.83 percent) and industrial production (of 2.19 percent) while the benchmark interest rate remains high, at 13 percent per year.