Rio de Janeiro, May 30 (IANS/EFE) Brazil’s economy grew 0.60 percent in the first quarter of 2013, compared with the final quarter of last year, the government said.
The figures confirmed official projections that the economy would recover following the slowdown experienced over the past two years.
The South American country’s gross domestic product grew 1.9 percent in the first quarter, compared to the same period last year, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, or IBGE, said Wednesday.
The first-quarter GDP number, however, came in below government and economists’ projections of 0.80 percent to 1 percent growth in the January-March period, but it bolstered expectations that Brazil’s economy could start recovering in 2013.
The Brazilian economy grew 7.5 percent in 2010, marking its best performance in a decade, but then expanded by only 2.7 percent in 2011 and 0.90 percent last year.
The government expects the economy to grow between 3 percent and 4 percent this year, but private sector analysts are forecasting growth of 2.93 percent this year and 3.5 percent in 2014.
The agricultural industry, whose production surged 9.7 percent, was responsible for most of the growth between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of this year, the IBGE said.
The service sector grew just 0.50 percent and manufacturing expanded at a rate of only 0.30 percent during the same period, the IBGE said.
The agricultural industry’s solid performance was mainly due to soy production, which rose 23.3 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2012, while corn production grew 9.1 percent, tobacco output rose 5.7 percent and rice production increased 5.1 percent.