Economic activity in Brazil fell for a third straight month in August, Central Bank data showed, adding to evidence of a steeper-than-expected recession in the country. The figures were unveiled on the same day the government dismissed rumors over the resignation of Finance Minister Joaquim Levy.
Augusts' economic activity plunged 4.47% versus a year earlier in non-seasonally-adjusted data, deepening its slide from a 4.28% year-on-year drop in July. The Brazilian central bank’s IBC-Br economic activity index, a gauge of activity in the farming, industry and services sectors, fell 0.76 percent in August from the prior month.
Brazil’s economy has slipped into its worst recession in 25 years, hit by high inflation, rising interest rates and a string of tax hikes and spending cuts by President Dilma Rousseff.
Economists have reduced their estimates for the country’s economic performance on the absence of signs of a recovery. According to a weekly Central Bank survey of 100 economists, Brazil’s economy is expected to contract 2.97% this year.
The weak performance came against a backdrop of high inflation, at more than 9% year on year, well above the 6.5% upper limit of the Central Bank’s target range.
The IBC-Br index is an early indicator of gross domestic product data. IBGE, the country’s statistics institute, will publish third-quarter economic activity results on December 1.