Brazilian gross domestic product rose 1.0% in the first quarter of 2017 against the fourth quarter of 2016, the Brazilian Census Bureau (IBGE) said Thursday. The news prompted Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles to state, “The recession is over. Brazil is growing again, but we still have a long way to go.” The first quarter figures snapped a series of eight losing quarters in a row. Economists have called the period 2015 to 2016 the longest recession in Brazilian history. But the apparent recovery is still incomplete. First-quarter GDP, for example, was still down 0.4% against the first quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, Brazil’s investment rate continued anemic at just 15.6% of GDP, down from 16.8% in the first quarter of 2016. A decade ago, Brazil’s investment rate consistently topped 20% of GDP. Much of the first quarter gain came from agriculture, which expande d by an astounding 13.4% against the fourth quarter of 2016. Industry was up 0.9% while services showed no advance.
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