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SAO PAULO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Economic activity in Brazil fell more quickly than expected in June, central bank data showed on Wednesday, adding to evidence that the once-booming economy is suffering a painful recession.
The Brazilian central bank’s IBC-Br economic activity index fell 0.58 percent in June from the prior month, the bank said in a report on Wednesday. A Reuters survey of nine analysts expected a decline of 0.53 percent.
A comparison of the monthly indexes showed the Brazilian economy contracted by 1.89 percent in the second quarter from the first.
The IBC-Br index, a gauge of activity in the farming, industry and services sectors, is an early indicator of gross domestic product figures. IBGE, the country’s statistics institute, will publish second-quarter economic activity results on Aug. 28.
The Brazilian economy shrank 0.2 percent in the first quarter as investments fell for the seventh straight quarter.
If confirmed by official data, the back-to-back contractions will show what most economists already know: The Brazilian economy has fallen into a deep recession.
A weekly central bank survey of economists published on Monday showed expectations that the Brazilian economy would shrink by 0.15 percent next year, following a sharp contraction of more than 2 percent forecast for this year.
Brazil has not faced two years of declines since the Great Depression of the 1930s, economists said.
Years of dwindling confidence exacerbated by a growing political crisis and corruption scandal at major state-run companies has dragged down investment and consumption in Brazil.
After being re-elected in October, President Dilma Rousseff has cut expenditures and raised taxes to regain market confidence after years of interventionist policies that spooked investors. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Bruno Federowski; Writing by Alonso Soto; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)