Brazil's GDP contracts 0.5 percent from previous quarter; up 2.2 percent year to year

The economy of Latin America's biggest country contracted in the third quarter of the year, though it was up from the same period of 2012, the government said Tuesday.

Brazil's IBGE statistics bureau said Brazil's Gross Domestic Product slipped 0.5 percent from this year's second quarter. It rose 2.2 percent from the third quarter of 2012.

The bureau said that the GDP contraction was due mainly to a 3.5 percent drop in agricultural output and a 2.2 percent decrease in investments. The industrial and services sectors were each up a mere 0.1 percent from the second quarter, while consumption rose 1 percent.

The IBGE said that the country's GDP between January and September was 2.4 percent higher than during the same period in 2012.

It said that in the third quarter the country's GDP amounted to 1.2 billion reals ($521.7 million).

Brazil's economy has slowed since 2010, when its GDP expanded 7.5 percent. In 2011, it grew by 2.7 percent and last year's GDP posted 0.9 percent growth.

Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Tuesday that despite the poor quarterly performance, Brazil's economy will get stronger in 2014.

He said investments are expected to increase 7.3 percent, and family consumption and government spending should each rise 2.5 percent.

He said that the modernization of airports, the construction of highways and oil exploration activities will attract more investments and "improve the performance of the country's economy.