RIO DE JANEIRO, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's economic recovery stalled during the first few months of the year, which could result in a contraction in the gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter, the Central Bank of Brazil said Tuesday.
The central bank released the minutes from the latest meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, in which it was decided to keep the benchmark interest rate at 6.5 percent annually, which is its lowest level on record.
During the first few months of the year, the cooling down of the economy which had been observed at the end of 2018 continued, said the central bank.
"The available indicators suggest a significant probability that the GDP has slightly retreated during the first quarter of the year, compared to the previous quarter," the report said.
The indicators caused financial institutions to reduce their economic growth forecasts for the current year, according to the report.
As a result, the central bank saw it necessary to keep the benchmark interest rate at its current 6.5 percent.
Brazil's economy recovered in 2017 and 2018, with 1.1 percent growth in both years, a result that was nonetheless well below initial forecasts. It was due to the high unemployment rate which slows consumer spending, one of the country's economic drivers.