UPDATE 1-Brazil economic activity up slightly in April, weak Q2 start

viernes 13 de junio de 2014 08:21 GYT

(Recasts, adds analyst comments and context)

BRASILIA, June 13 (Reuters) - Brazilian economic activity rose slightly in April, in another lackluster showing for the once-booming economy that points to a sluggish second quarter.

The central bank's IBC-Br economic activity index rose 0.12 percent in April from March in seasonally adjusted terms, the bank said on Friday. The median estimate in a Reuters survey of 19 analysts was for 0.0 percent growth.

The Brazilian economy barely grew in the first quarter and a plunge in investment pointed to more weakness in the coming quarter. Economists have repeatedly revised down their economic growth estimates to just 1.4 percent this year from an expansion of 2.5 percent in 2013.

For Bradesco economists the slight increase in activity in April reinforced expectations that the second quarter will remain subdued.

"It is compatible with our expectations for a slowdown in the second quarter," Bradesco economists said in a research note.

The central bank paused a year-long rate-hiking cycle to give a breather to an economy which despite slowing down has suffered from naggingly high inflation.

Economic activity growth in March was revised up to 0.05 percent growth from a previously reported drop of 0.11 percent, according to central bank data.

The index, a gauge of activity in the farming, industry and services sectors, dropped a non-seasonally adjusted 2.29 percent over the same month a year ago. (Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by W Simon and Chizu Nomiyama)