Brazil's economic activity grew 0.35% in February after three months of decline



Brazil's economic activity grew 0.35% in February compared to January after three consecutive months of retraction, according to an index released on Tuesday and that the Central Bank uses to try to anticipate the result of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The so-called Central Bank Economic Activity Index (IBC-Br), known to economists as the prior to GDP, showed a growth of the largest economy in South America of 0.33% in the accumulated between January and February.

Compared to February last year, the activity index presented an advance of 0.60%, while in the last 12 months it rose 0.66%.

The data, however, does not include the effects of the coronavirus crisis on the Brazilian economy, which according to the projections of financial market economists will go into recession this year.

According to a survey carried out by the Central Bank of nearly one hundred bank and financial analysts, and disclosed this Monday, Brazil's Gross Domestic Product will undergo a 1.96% retraction in 2020, burdened by the pandemic.

The Brazilian government, for its part, is more optimistic and has reduced growth from 2.10% to 0.02% by 2020, while the Central Bank has cut the estimate from 2.2%, calculated in December, to 0 , 0%.

The coronavirus is a serious blow to an economy that has been slowly recovering from the historic recession it suffered in 2015 and 2016, when the Brazilian GDP retreated close to seven percentage points.

In the following three years the economy chained positive but discreet results (1.3% in 2017, 1.3% in 2018 and 1.1% in 2019) and the initial forecast, before the pandemic, was that it would finally take off in 2020 , with an expansion of up to 2.5%.

Protected by the economy, the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, one of the most skeptical about the seriousness of COVID-19, has criticized the restriction measures imposed by most of Brazil's governors and has asked Brazilians to return. to work.

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