Brazilian officials yesterday announced that the fourth quarter of 2012 showed sluggish growth . . . after healthy economic growth over the last decade, Brazil expanded around 0.9 percent last year, one of the country's worst economic performances since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 . . . officials expect an economic report to be released tomorrow will show that the economy grew in the fourth quarter but at a much slower rate than projected . . . investors and economists had been expecting a gradual recovery following the stimulus plan implemented by President Dilma Rousseff’s government . . . the disconnect between consumer demand and factory output has fueled inflation . . . in addition, weak international demand for Brazilian raw materials also caused sluggish fourth-quarter growth . . . in order to reach the country’s surplus target, President Rousseff may loosen fiscal rules for another year to allow the economy to slowly respond to the stimulus package . . . this year, Brazil will likely allow as much as 65 billion reals in combined tax and infrastructure deductions to meet the primary surplus goal according to government officials . . . growth forecasts for this year are at 3.1%, which would mean that Brazil is in fact on the path to economic recovery, regardless of poor performance in the fourth quarter of 2012.