RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Brazil has yet to regain the economic level it recorded at the peak of activity before the crisis erupted five years ago. Throughout the country, however, economic performance has not been uniform.

The Midwest and South, according to the Itaú index for business activity -- which includes formal jobs, trade, industry, and agriculture -- are the two regions that have reached or overtaken the level they exhibited in March 2014. The downward spiral of . . .

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