By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Finance minister of Brazil, Henrique Meirelles, says country’s economy is showing signs of recovery and that the worst recession the country has faced in its history is over.
Meirelles attributed the positive news to the measures adopted by the government’s economic team, which he says has brought confidence back to the country’s economy.
“All this is a message of confidence in the adjustment and the reforms we are making. It is a deep support for fundamental changes. All reforms will provide resources for Brazilian society. Growth of expenditures would generate crisis, were it not for this type of measure taken,” said Meirelles during a meeting to discuss the social security reform.
According to the government official, the improvement has been steady and will be sustainable, with Brazil’s stock market showing signs of recovery as major gains are registered in state-run companies, such as Banco do Brasil and Petrobras. The measures adopted by his economic team, says Meirelles, decreases the ‘Brazil risk’.
International risk agencies, however, have maintained a negative outlook for the country’s economy. During the first week in February, Standard & Poors forecast a continuing low growth for the Brazilian economy over the next several years, warning that the fallout from the massive corruption scandal involving major Brazilian companies and government officials could continue to affect the country’s economy and investor confidence.
The Brazilian government downplayed the international entity’s assessment, stating that ratings companies would revise their outlooks once Brazil’s Congress passes the much-needed economic reforms.
Finance Minister reiterated on Tuesday that the government’s proposed Constitutional Amendment (PEC241) that limits public expenditures for the next twenty years in Brazil and which was approved by Congress in December, along with the social security reform now being discussed in the Legislature, will go along way to consolidate the improvement in the economy.
“The PEC expenditure limits was the driving force behind this growth, and Social Security, as well as being fundamental, is at the heart of this process,” Meirelles said.