BRASILIA, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Economic activity in Brazil showed strong signs of strengthening at the start of 2013, according to the latest Economic Activity Index released by Brazil 's Central Bank Friday.
The index registered a 1.29 percent increase from December to January, the biggest monthly rise since June 2008, when the index advanced 3.17 percent.
Compared with January of 2012, the index jumped 3.84 percent, the central bank said.
Last year, Brazil's economy grew a scant 0.9 percent, according to official figures, much less than the government had projected.
Brazil's poor economic performance came despite a flurry of stimulus measures announced by the government of President Dilma Rousseff, including lowering the basic interest rate to a historic low of 7.25 percent, expanding credit lines and cutting taxes to the private sector, among others.
The Economic Activity Index seeks to predict how the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will fare, by incorporating data on the activity levels of the three main economic sectors: industry, trade and agriculture. It's also used by the bank to set the basic Selic interest rate.