Brazil's economy grew 0.1% in 2014


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Brazil, the world's seventh largest economy, narrowly avoided contracting in 2014 with a growth rate of just 0.1% for the year.

The economy had been growing at a fast pace for the past decade but has slowed considerably in the past four years.

The slowdown is a result of low commodity prices, sluggish global growth and low investor confidence.

Under new Finance Minister Joaquim Levy, the country has moved from stimulus to austerity.

From 2011 until last year, Brazil's government had been trying to stimulate the economy by offering labour tax breaks, subsidising petrol and lowering the price of electricity.

Mr Levy has reined in government spending and raised taxes in order to balance government finances.

As a result, analysts predict 2015 is likely to be a difficult year for the country.

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