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Brazil truckers' strike shrinks economic activity 3.34 pct in May
Last Updated: 2018-07-17 10:17 | Xinhua
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Economic activity in Brazil dipped 3.34 percent in May compared to April, driven down by a crippling truckers' strike, the central bank said on Monday.

According to the bank's economic activity index (IBC-Br), considered an indicator of gross domestic product (GDP), the dip wiped out the 0.5 percent growth registered in April.

Compared to the same period a year ago, May 2017, economic activity shrank 2.9 percent, however over the past 12 months ending in May, the index rose 1.13 percent.

Truckers launched a nationwide strike in late May to protest rising fuel costs. Trucks blocked main roadways for 11 days, bringing distribution to a standstill and leading to shortages of fuel and fresh produce in some parts of the country.

The government estimates the strike led to economic losses of 15.9 billion reals (4.1 billion U.S. dollars).

Industrial production in May fell 10.9 percent, according to Brazil's national statistics institute (IBGE), registering the second-worst performance ever recorded.

Retail sales, one of Brazil's economic drivers, also dipped by 0.6 percent, marking the first decrease in sales this year.

The services sector, which represents nearly 70 percent of Brazil's GDP, dipped 3.8 percent in May, the worst outcome since 2011.

Slower-than-expected growth has led the central bank, the government and the financial market to downgrade their growth projections for the year to approximately 1.5 percent, half the rate estimated at the start of the year.

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