Brazil's economy contracted 0.50 percent in the third quarter, compared to the second quarter, marking its first contraction since 2009, when the global recession started, but it grew 2.2 percent compared to the same quarter in 2012, officials said.

Brazil, one of the biggest emerging markets, has seen its economic growth slow markedly since the global recession started.

The South American country's gross domestic product had not contracted from one quarter to the next since the first three months of 2009, when GDP shrank by 1.6 percent compared to the last quarter of 2008.

A 3.5 percent drop in agricultural production due to seasonal factors is to blame for the economy's poor performance, the government said.

Brazil's GDP grew 1.8 percent in the second quarter, compared to the first quarter.

The economy still managed to grow in the third quarter, compared to the July-September 2012 period, with growth during the first nine months of 2013 coming in at 2.4 percent, compared to the January-September 2012 period.

The growth numbers are in line with government and private forecasts, which see the economy expanding 2.5 percent this year and ending a two-year slide.

The Brazilian economy grew 7.5 percent in 2010, the best performance in decades, but GDP expanded by only 2.7 percent in 2011 and 1 percent last year, the government said. EFE