Brazil's economy shrinks 3.8 per cent in 2015

Chris Papadopoullos
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It was the Brazilian economy's worst performance for over 30 years (Source: Getty)

Brazil's economy contracted by 3.8 per cent in 2015 compared with the year before, according to data released today by the country's statistical office IBGE.

Industrial output plummeted by 6.2 per cent while services declined 2.7 per cent.

On the expenditure side, a separate way of measuring GDP, investment sank by 14.1 per cent while household consumption dropped four per cent.

Brazil's economy has suffered in the wake of commodity price collapses, tight monetary policy and a political crisis involving the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff and a corruption scandal at Petrobras, a state-owned oil giant.

The country's currency, the real, has lost 30 per cent of its value over the past year.

Yet the economy contracted at a slower rate toward the end of the year than it had done earlier in 2015.

"The good news—relatively—is that the rate of decline of GDP is slowing, at the margin, though the outlook for the economy remains bleak," said Andres Abadia, an economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

"The economy will remain very weak this year, due to the lagged effect of the tightening cycle, low confidence and elevated political uncertainty. Risks remain skewed to the downside thanks mainly to high inflation, tight credit conditions, and the rapid deterioration of the labor market."