SAO PAULO — Brazil's government says the country's economy grew in 2017 for the first time in three years, aided by a strong performance in the agricultural sector.

The government's IBGE statistics bureau said Thursday that the country's gross domestic product increased 1 percent last year after two consecutive contractions of 3.5 percent in 2015 and 2016.

IBGE said that the 13 percent growth in the agricultural sector was a major driving force in ther GDP increase. The corn crop increased 55.2 percent while the soybean crop expanded 19.4 percent.