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Brazil Will Overcome Recession in the First Quarter, Says Brazilian Finance Minister

02/02/2017 - 15h04

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MARIANA CARNEIRO
FROM SÃO PAULO

The Brazilian economy is likely to overcome the ongoing recession in the first quarter of this year, says Finance Minister, Henrique Meirelles.

"Our expectation is that the economy will leave the recession behind, which means that it will grow at a moderate rate in the first quarter, but it will already begin a rising trajectory that will continue throughout the year," says Meirelles.

He maintained his forecast that, at the end of the year, growth will reach 2% in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2016.

Economists heard weekly by the country's Central Bank are forecasting an increase of 1.8% "We are working to make the country overcome the worst recession in its history, and that is already happening. Several sectors already started growing again in December."

Meirelles cited the auto and the heavy transport sectors. He also said that the flow of cargo vehicles on Brazilian roads increased at the end of the year.

He did not disclose the Ministry of Finance's new forecast for the country's growth this year, but said that "what is important is that Brazil will grow this year at a strong rate for a country overcoming recession."

Regarding the Central Bank's intention to work along this year to make inflation decline to 3% a year, Meirelles (who has already been the president of the Central Bank) said that the subject is "leading to much controversy." The goal today is 4.5%.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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