BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) - Brazil's Central Bank has sharply lowered its forecast for the nation's economic growth this year.
The bank now estimates that Brazil's gross domestic product will grow by 2.5 percent. That's down from a March forecast of 3.5 percent.
The bank blames the European financial crisis, which it says will continue for a "prolonged time."
It also notes that slowing growth in China adds to a scenario of increased economic turbulence for Brazil and the globe.
Brazil has prided itself on being one of the nations least hit by economic crises that have erupted since 2008, buffered by consumption of its growing middle class.
But with growth of just 2.7 percent last year and consumer demand diminishing, Brazil is looking more vulnerable to external economic shocks.
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