The assembly line for the KC-390 military transport aircraft at the Embraer factory in Gaviao Peixoto
Rio de Janeiro - AFP
Brazil's economy slowed in the first quarter, official statistics showed Friday, at a delicate time for the country with President Dilma Rousseff seeking re-election in October and the hosting of the football World Cup.
Gross domestic product (GDP) increased just 0.2 percent in the first quarter -- in line with market expectations -- the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said, compared with a revised-down 0.4 percent in the previous three months.
The world's seventh-largest economy is caught between rising inflation and sluggish growth.
Economic growth, after hitting a blistering 7.5 percent in 2010, slowed sharply over the next three years and came in at just 2.5 percent last year, according to revised figures.
The government has forecast similar or slightly better growth this year, although the central bank is not quite as optimistic.
Although some sectors in Brazil will gain a boost from the June 12-July 13 World Cup, the tournament will not have a major economic effect, Moody's rating agency forecast in March.
Brazil's central bank Wednesday opted to hold its key interest rate steady at 11 percent over inflation concerns.