The Wall Street Journal – Brazil’s economy accelerated in the fourth quarter of the year but growth remains fickle as key parts of the economy continue to sputter.

The growth suggests Latin America’s largest economy was in better shape than had been expected, after preliminary data from the Central Bank of Brazil had indicated that the economy may have flirted with a recession in the second half of the year.

Although the economy continues to underperform, signs of expansion may ease some of the gloominess that have made bankers and economists increasingly negative about the prospects for 2014.

“I think this result will halt the downward revisions to forecasts for the Brazilian economy this year by economists,” said Flavio Serrano, an economist at BES Investimento in São Paulo. Investments increased during the quarter, whereas many economists had expected a decline, while industry had been expected to contract further, he said.

In annualized terms, the economy grew 2.75% in the fourth quarter, according to Mr. Serrano.  Read the whole story here.