Brazilian gross domestic product declined by 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2016 against the previous quarter, the fifth quarterly decline in GDP in a row, the Brazilian Census Bureau (IBGE) said Wednesday. GDP was down 5.4 percent against the first quarter of 2015, making it likely Brazil will suffer its second straight year of negative growth in 2016. GDP fell back by 3.8 percent in 2015. All three sectors of the economy suffered setbacks, including agriculture, which had been a positive performer through most of 2015. Agriculture declined 0.3 percent against the fourth quarter of 2015, while industry shrank 1.2 percent and services retreated 0.2 percent, the IBGE said. Figures on investment did not auger well for the rest of the year. The IBGE said investments were down 2.7 percent quarter-on-quarter and a whopping 17.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2016. Brazil’s economy plunged into recession last year on a combination of factors, including rising government and consumer indebtedness, persistent inflation and high interest rates. Most economists are forecasting a GDP decline in 2016 between 3.5 percent and 4.0 percent.
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