Brazil’s gross domestic product rose by a modest 0.4% in the first quarter of 2018 against the previous quarter and by 1.2% against the first quarter of 2017, the Brazilian Census Bureau (IBGE) said Wednesday. Growth was slightly better than expected, with most economists focusing on 0.3% for first quarter growth. As in 2017, growth was led by agriculture, which expanded 1.4% against the last quarter of 2017; industry and services each posted growth of just 0.1%. Investments were up 0.6% quarter-on-quarter and a healthy 3.5% year-on-year, a harbinger of more industrial expansion in the coming quarters, according to economists . Brazil’s economy grew by an anemic 1.0% in 2017. Economists are now expecting growth of between 2.0% and 2.5% this year. Growth has been slow because of looming government deficits, high unemployment and business and consumer caution ahead of presidential and general elections in October.
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