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Brazil's recession worst in country's history: GDP figures

Civil servants protesting against austerity measures in front of the Rio de Janeiro State Legislative Assembly are stopped by a cloud of tear gas thrown by police, in Rio de Janeiro, brazil, on February 1, 2017
VANDERLEI ALMEIDA (AFP)
Unemployment is at 12.6 percent, amounting to around 13 million people out of work

Brazil's recession hit the two year mark, becoming the worst in the country's history, after Latin America's biggest economy registered an eighth consecutive quarter of shrinkage, GDP figures showed Tuesday.

The government statistics office said the economy shrank 0.9 percent in the last three months of 2016. That meant an overall dip of 3.6 percent in 2016, following a 3.8 percent fall in 2015.

This is the deepest decline since records began.

Brazil has been shaken by a slump in prices for its oil, soy, metals and other commodity exports, as well as political instability and a huge corruption scandal.

RODRIGO ARANGUA (AFP)

Unemployment is at 12.6 percent, amounting to around 13 million people out of work.

The political leadership has been in crisis since last year when president Dilma Rousseff was impeached for illegally manipulating government accounts, while several high ranking allies of her successor President Michel Temer are now mired in a sprawling graft probe.

The embezzlement and bribery scandal -- which is due to pick up pace soon with the expected release of damaging testimony against senior political figures -- is slowing down Temer's attempt to pass economic reforms in Congress.

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