By Senabri Silvestre
SANTO DOMINGO, Dom. Rep. (AA) - Brazil's economy shrank 5.4 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2015, the country’s Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said Wednesday.
It is the eighth consecutive quarterly decline for Brazil’s economy that has already contracted 4.7 percent during the past 12 months -- it’s highest recorded annual contraction since 1996.
The new numbers come as the South American country grapples with a political crisis and the threat of the Zika as it prepares to host the Olympics and Paralympics games in August and September, respectively.
The figures could lead Brazil to two consecutive years of recession for the first time since 1930.
According to the IBGE, Brazil's GDP fell 0.3 percent between January and March, compared to the last quarter of 2015, with negative growth in agriculture, industry and services activities.
Those figures beat analysts’ projections of 0.8 percent contraction.
The recession began 2015 when GDP shrank by 3.8 percent, the country's worst economic performance in 25 years.
But the bleak outlook was expected since 2014 when economic activity was virtually stagnant, growing just 0.1 percent.