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Brazil's central bank says economic growth slowed to 0.89% in 2019

Brazil's economy expanded by 0.89% in 2019, according to data published by the country's central bank Feb. 14.

The IBC-Br, or Banco Central do Brasil's Economic Activity Index, clocked in significantly below 1.12%, the average growth forecast by the experts consulted by the monetary authority in its last survey.

Economic activity contracted for the second consecutive month in Dec. 2019, and was down 0.27% from November in seasonally adjusted terms.

On Feb. 5, the central bank lowered its benchmark Selic rate to a new record low of 4.25%, in order to provide further monetary stimulus to the economy.

The central bank also sold $1 billion of foreign exchange swap contracts in its first market intervention since November 2019, to shore up the Brazilian real from further depreciation.