Brazilian economy grew by 5.4 per cent in 2007

( dpa ) - Brazil's economy grew by 5.4 per cent in 2007, better than expected and nearly 2 per cent higher than in the previous year, the National Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said Wednesday.

Experts had predicted a gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 5.2 per cent, and the IBGE figure even surpassed the expectations of Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega, who last week predicted a rise of up to 5.3 per cent.

The Rio de Janeiro-based IBGE's report also continued a trend of strong growth in the Brazilian economy in recent years. Brazil's GDP grew by 3.2 per cent in 2005 and by 3.8 per cent in 2006, according to the state institute.

The past four years have shown the most impressive growth in Brazil since 1984-87, media reported. In 2004 there was 5.7 per cent growth.

According to the official statistics, the GDP of the largest country in Latin America totalled some 1.54 trillion dollars last year.

Per capita GDP also grew in 2007 by 4 per cent to 8,025 dollars at the current exchange rate.

The growth of the Brazilian economy was boosted in particular by the results of the fourth quarter, in which GDP grew by 6,2 per cent in relation to the same period of 2006 and by 1.6 per cent in relation to the third quarter of 2007.

"I am very satisfied, the economy is showing robust and balanced growth," Mantega said in Brasilia.

The minister noted that the acceleration of growth did not lead inflation to spring out of control, and stressed that the pace could be maintained in 2008.

The engine behind Brazil's growth was agriculture, which grew by 5.3 per cent. Industry and services grew by 4.9 and 4.7 per cent, respectively. Consumer spending showed a 6.5 per cent increase.

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