Brazil Fourth-Quarter GDP Shrank 3.6%

Brazil’s economy shrank the most on record in the fourth quarter as companies slashed jobs and output in response to the global credit crisis., Bloomberg 3/10/2009 6:47:26 AM

Gross domestic product fell 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three-month period, the national statistics agency said today in Rio de Janeiro. The drop exceeded forecasts from all 31 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

It was the biggest decline since the current series started in 1996, the agency said. The economy expanded 1.3 percent from the year-ago period, less than the 1.9 percent forecast in the Bloomberg survey, the agency said today.

The central bank is expected to slash the benchmark lending rate tomorrow by a full percentage point for the second straight meeting, to 11.75 percent, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 47 economists.

Brazil’s economy expanded 5.1 percent last year, compared with 5.7 percent in 2007.

Brazil Fourth-Quarter GDP Shrank 3.6%