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Brazil’s Economic Activity Index Down 0.34% in March, Below Expectations

The Brazilian Central Bank’s Economic Activity Index (IBC-Br) revealed an unexpected drop in March 2024, surprising analysts.

The index fell by 0.34% compared to February. This decline followed a 0.40% increase in February.

The Central Bank released this data on Wednesday. Analysts had predicted a smaller decline of 0.30%. This surprise raised concerns about the economy’s health.

From February to March, the IBC-Br dropped by 2.18%. Over the past 12 months, the index showed a gain of 1.68%.

This indicates some resilience in the economy. In the first quarter of 2024, the IBC-Br recorded a 1.08% expansion.

Brazil's Economic Activity Index IBC-Br Down 0.34% in March, Below Expectations. (Photo Internet reproduction)
Brazil’s Economic Activity Index IBC-Br Down 0.34% in March, Below Expectations. (Photo Internet reproduction)

The index fell from 148.47 points in February to 147.96 in March. This is the lowest level since December of last year when it stood at 147.22 points.

This recent decline followed four consecutive months of increases.

Brazil’s Economic Activity Index IBC-Br Down 0.34% in March, Below Expectations

The IBC-Br serves as a preview of Brazil’s GDP. It helps assess the economy’s pace.

The Central Bank has published the IBC-Br since March 2010. It measures the evolution of Brazil’s economic activity.

The index helps shape monetary policy strategies. Members of the Monetary Policy Committee (Copom) rely on it.

They use it to gauge the economy’s rhythm and the Selic rate’s impact on growth.

Although similar to GDP, the IBC-Br has differences. These include conceptual, methodological, and frequency variations.

Comparisons to GDP are common but not always precise. The latest IBC-Br figures show mixed signals.

There is growth over the year but a short-term slowdown. The Central Bank and analysts will monitor these trends closely.

Brazil’s economic future remains uncertain. Understanding these indicators is crucial for making informed decisions.

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