Brazil’s economy contracts almost 1 percent in 2nd quarter

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s economy contracted nearly 1 percent in the second quarter due to a trucker’s strike, the country’s Central Bank said Wednesday.

The nine-day strike that ended in late May caused fuel shortages, cut into food deliveries and backed up exports.

The Central Bank said Latin America’s biggest economy shrank 0.99 percent.

According to the bank, Brazil’s Economic Activity Index rose 3.29 percent in June from the previous month, which saw a 3.28 percent drop. But it was not enough to close the quarter on a positive note.

The Economic Activity Index is a preview of the Gross Domestic Product. GDP figures for the second quarter are expected to be released at the end of the month.

Andre Perfeito, chief economist at Spinelli CVMC, a Sao Paulo-based investment firm, said the data released by the Central Bank was “very bad.”

“It points to a second quarter GDP drop of 0.2 percent and to a 2018 GDP growth of just 1.1 percent,” he said.