Brazil's economy grew by 0.6 percent in the third quarter compared to the previous three-month period, well below the government's forecasts, the IBGE statistics agency said Friday.

The country's gross domestic product rose by 0.9 percent relative to the third quarter of 2011, the agency said.

The Brazilian economy expanded by 0.7 percent in the first nine months of 2012 and 0.9 percent over the 12 months ending in September of this year.

Although Brazil's economy grew in the third quarter at its fastest rate since last year, the result fell far short of Finance Minister Guido Mantega's forecast of 1.2 percent GDP growth.

The agricultural sector was the best performer in the quarter, growing 2.5 percent relative to the April-June period, while the industrial sector grew by 1.1 percent and output in the services sector was unchanged.

Domestic consumption rose 0.9 percent and public sector consumption inched up just 0.1 percent, while gross capital formation fell by 2 percent.

The value of Brazil's exports edged up 0.2 percent and imports declined by 6.5 percent. EFE