Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro

Latin America’s biggest economy, Brazil, contracted by a record 9.7 percent in the second quarter of 2020, plunging into recession as coronavirus lockdowns hit home, the official statistics agency said Tuesday.

Brazil has been hit hard by the pandemic, with the second-highest number of infections and deaths worldwide after the United States, and stay-at-home measures to contain the virus have taken a heavy toll.

“GDP is now at the same level as late 2009, at the height of the global financial crisis,” the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said in a statement.

The record fall in the second quarter is greater than the total loss in any of nine recessions that have struck Brazil in the past 40 years, analysts said.

Many economists say they are hopeful that the second-quarter data reflects the worst of the crisis, and that the economy will rebound in the second half of the year.