(Bloomberg) – Brazil’s economy contracted less than expected in March amid a surge in coronavirus cases that forced trade shutdowns and caused people to stay home, according to the country’s main activity indicator. central bank.
The economic activity index, which is a benchmark for gross domestic product, fell 1.59% in March, below the median estimate of -3.4% from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, the bank reported Thursday. For the first quarter, activity increased 2.3% compared to the prior three-month period.
The better-than-expected data is the latest sign that a second, deadlier wave of COVID-19 may have been less damaging than economists initially feared. Other key economic factors, such as retail sales and industrial production, also contracted less than expected in March. Policy makers expect strong growth in the second half of the year, as vaccination campaigns pick up momentum.
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) will publish official first quarter GDP figures on June 1.
Original Note: Brazil Economy Outperforms Expectations During Second Covid Wave
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