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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Despite an United Nation’s report stating that Brazil is likely to grow only 0.1 percent this year, limiting the total economic growth of the region, Brazil’s finance minister Henrique Meirelles is optimistic.

Brazil, Brasilia,Brazil's Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles optimistic about economic growth already in 2017,
Brazil’s Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles optimistic about economic growth already in 2017, photo by José Cruz/Agência Brasil.

Meirelles stated on Tuesday (May 16th) that the government’s economic measures are having a positive effect on the economy and that during the last quarter there will be significant improvement.

“Brazil is already starting to react. We are still experiencing the effects of a very big recession. But despite the still very high unemployment, the good news is that the country began to grow and employment began to react,” Meirelles said to reporters after a business meeting in Minas Gerais.

According to the official, the government forecasts a growth of 2.7 percent during the last quarter of 2017, in comparison to the same period in 2016. The Minister did acknowledge that the 2017 economic growth is forecast to come in lower than one percent, at 0.5 percent.

The United Nation’s 2017 UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report, released on Tuesday, May 15th, revised economic growth forecasts for Latin America in 2017 from 1.3 percent to 1.1 percent.

According to the United Nations, the fall corresponds mainly to 2016 in South America, where countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela suffered a harder than expected recession.

In Brazil, says the report, growth this year is forecast at only 0.1 percent, after a decline of 3.6 percent in 2016. “The region continues to face significant uncertainties and risks, especially related to macroeconomic policy measures in the United States and internal reform agendas,” concluded the UN report.

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