Brazil's economy shrank 3.6 per cent in 2016, according to data released Tuesday, making the recession of the last two years the worst in the country's history.
The data published by the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (ISGE) showed the country's gross domestic product (GDP) decreased nearly as much in 2016 as in 2015, when it shrank 3.8 per cent.
The two years together make for a cumulative contraction of 7.2 per cent, an unprecedented decline, ISGE economist Rebeca de la Roque Palis told Globo News.
The last time Brazil's GDP contracted for two consecutive years was in 1931-32, when the economy shrank 2.1 per cent and 3.2 per cent, respectively, according to Globo.
Latin America's largest economy showed declines in nearly every sector of the economy, with agriculture down 6.6 per cent, industry declining 3.8 per cent and services showing a contraction of 2.7 per cent.
The declines are a stark reversal from the early 2000s, when Brazil was booming, and its economy became one of the biggest in the world. As recently as 2010 the country's GDP grew 7.5 per cent.
But in early 2014 the country's economy began to teeter as world prices for oil and raw materials fell.
The conservative government of President Michel Temer has since last year implemented economic reforms and severe cuts to speed recovery.
Brazil had expected a decline of at least 3 per cent in 2016. The country hopes to return to economic growth in 2017, with an expected GDP increase of less than 1 per cent.