Brazil’s gross domestic product (GDP) registered the poorest third quarter results of any country belonging to the G20 or BRICS blocs, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Tuesday.

“We are the country with the lowest growth rate,” said Mantega, commenting on the just-released GDP figures, Brazil’s G1 news website said.

The South American giant’s GDP totaled 1.2 trillion reals (508 billion US dollars) in the third quarter of 2013, down 0.5 percent compared to the second quarter of the year. However, compared to the same period last year, Brazil’s GDP was up 2.2 percent.

Mantega blamed the dismal third quarter results on a strong second quarter, saying “because of the high second quarter figures, third quarter results were low in comparison.”

Similarly, this year’s fourth quarter results, due to be released in February 2014, are more likely to show progress compared to the poor third quarter figures, he said, adding that Brazil is on a “path to growth.”

Mantega believes Brazil will see more growth in 2013 than it did in 2012, and stressed that the year has not been tough just on Brazil, but on several countries.

“2013 is still a crisis year, probably the last one. We expect better scenarios next year,” he said.

Brazil is one of five emerging economies collectively referred to as BRICS, including Russia, India, China and South Africa.