(Recasts with background, year-on-year decline)
BRASILIA, June 16 (Reuters) - Economic activity in Brazil rose in April for the first time in more than a year of severe recession, but the razor-thin increase was smaller than analysts had expected, central bank data showed on Thursday.
The Brazilian central bank's IBC-Br economic activity index , a gauge of activity in the farming, industry and services sectors, rose 0.03 percent in April from March after seasonal adjustments, the first increase since December 2014.
A Reuters survey of 18 analysts had forecast a 0.3 percent increase in the indicator.
Brazil's economy is going through a second year of what analysts estimate to be its worst recession in more than a century. Activity fell 4.99 percent in April compared to the same month a year earlier.
The IBC-Br data for April, despite being weaker than expected, adds to signs that Latin America's largest economy could stabilize later this year. A record cane crush propped up industrial output in April, while stronger supermarket sales offered vendors some respite after months of losses due to high inflation. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Bernadette Baum)