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BRASILIA, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Economic activity in Brazil fell for a third straight month in August, central bank data showed on Friday, adding to evidence of a steeper-than-expected recession in Latin America's largest economy.
The Brazilian central bank's IBC-Br economic activity index, a gauge of activity in the farming, industry and services sectors, fell 0.76 percent in August from the prior month.
The median forecast in a Reuters survey of 17 analysts was for a 0.60 percent decline in the indicator, following a 0.01 percent drop in July.
August's economic activity plunged 4.47 percent versus a year earlier in non-seasonally-adjusted data, deepening its slide from a 4.28 percent year-on-year drop in July.
Brazil's economy has slipped into its worst recession in 25 years, hit by high inflation, rising interest rates and a string of tax hikes and spending cuts by President Dilma Rousseff.
According to a Reuters poll this week, economists expect the Brazilian economy to shrink by 1.0 percent next year, following a sharp contraction of nearly 3 percent forecast for this year.
The IBC-Br index is an early indicator of gross domestic product data. IBGE, the country's statistics institute, will publish third-quarter economic activity results on Dec. 1. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione Editing by W Simon)