By Lise Alves, Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The economy of Brazil grew a disappointing 0.2 percent during the first quarter of 2014 in relation to the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the IBGE (Brazilian Statistics Bureau). The government had forecast a 0.3 percent growth for this quarter.

Finance Minister speaks on Q1 GDP results, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Finance Minister speaks about Q1 GDP results, photo by Elza Fiuza/Agencia Brasil

The data, released last Friday, shows that in relation to the last quarter of 2013 agribusiness was the segment that grew the most, by 3.6 percent, while services grew by 0.4 percent and industry retreated by 0.8 percent in the country’s economy.

In relation to the first quarter in 2013 the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) shows a growth of 1.9 percent, reaching a volume of R$1.204 trillion. Investment rate fell from 18.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to 17.7 in the first quarter of this year percent while savings rate fell by 1.0 percent to 12.7 percent in the same comparison base.

Brazilian Finance Minister, Guido Mantega, said in a press conference that the higher inflation and the slow recovery of the international economy contributed to the weak growth in the GDP. Mantega, however, noted that results should be higher in the second quarter of the year.

Household consumption decreased for the first time since the third quarter of 2011, by 0.1 percent. Exports grew by 3.3 percent while imports grew by 1.4 percent in relation to the fourth quarter of 2013.

For 2014, financial analysts are forecasting a growth of 1.63 percent, according to the Focus Report released by the Central Bank, while the Ministry of Finance more optimistic, forecasting an annual GDP growth between 2.3 percent and 2.5 percent. In 2013 the economy grew by 2.5 percent, according to the IBGE.

Read more (in Portuguese).

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