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Brazil GDP falls 5.4 pct in first quarter

Brazil’s economy shrank 5.4 percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the prior-year period; but the contraction was smaller than originally feared, showed data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics published on Wednesday.

In sequential terms, the gross domestic product (GDP) retreated 0.3 percent in the three months to March 31, according to data from the government’s statistics office.

At current values, GDP reached 1.47 trillion reais (US$410.3 billion) in the first quarter of 2016.

A 7.3 percent year-on-year dip in the industrial sector and a weakening of investments led GDP to fall in the first quarter, showed the official data. Agricultural output and the services sector also suffered 1.0 percent and 3.2 percent retreats in year-on-year terms, respectively. On a positive note, exports rose 13.0 percent compared to the prior-year quarter.