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Brazil enters recession in second quarter

28 August 2015, 18:38

Rio de Janeiro - Brazil is in recession, official figures showed Friday, adding to the gloom in the world's seventh largest economy already battered by falling commodity prices, political crisis and a corruption scandal.

In the second quarter of this year, gross domestic product slipped 1.9 percent. GDP had already been down 0.7 percent in the first quarter, the government statistics agency IBGE said.

Also read: Brazil police raid gang of synthetic drug traffickers

Brazil's economy has been slipping for four years after a boom fueled by commodity exports, principally to China. Falling prices for oil and other commodities have punched huge holes in the budget.

Adding to the economic malaise is a growing political crisis in which President Dilma Rousseff faces calls for her impeachment and discontent, even among many of her own supporters, over austerity measures.

A huge corruption investigation named Operation Car Wash has revealed a bribes and embezzlement scheme centered on the state oil giant Petrobras and involving politicians and senior executives. Rousseff's Workers' Party has also been dragged into the scandal.

A quick recovery is not expected.

Earlier this month, a central bank survey of economists for the first time indicated that the contraction will continue through 2016 with a shrinkage of 0.15 percent.

The survey also showed that inflation remains forecast at 9.32 percent this year, but it raised the 2016 projection for price rises to 5.44 percent from 5.43 percent.

Moody's has cut Brazil's credit rating to near junk status, reflecting growing struggles with debt.



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