UPDATE 1-Brazil economic activity tanks again as recession deepens

jueves 18 de febrero de 2016 07:36 GYT

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BRASILIA Feb 18 (Reuters) - Economic activity in Brazil fell for the 10th straight month in December, central bank data showed on Thursday, adding to evidence that the recession in Latin America's biggest country is far from bottoming out.

The Brazilian central bank's IBC-Br economic activity index fell 0.52 percent in December from the previous month, the bank said. A Reuters survey of 20 analysts forecast a 0.63 percent decline in the indicator, a gauge of activity in the farming, industry and services sectors.

For all of 2015, activity fell a staggering 4.1 percent, the index showed. Economists expect the Brazilian economy to shrink again by more than 3 percent this year.

The Brazilian economy is suffering its worst crisis in decades as investors lose confidence in the once emerging-market star, after years of erratic economic policy under President Dilma Rousseff.

A sharp drop in commodity prices has also hurt an economy that grew by more than 4 percent a year in the last decade.

Brazil was downgraded further into junk territory by Standard & Poor's on Wednesday, after five months after the same rating agency stripped the country of its investment grade.

The IBC-Br index is seen as a proxy for the gross domestic product figures released by the country's statistics agency, IBGE, in March. (Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Alison Williams)