By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Brazil will grow by 0.4 percent this year, according to forecasts by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The United Nations agency estimates an average GDP growth of 1.1 percent in 2017 for the entire region.

Brazil,ECLAC's Executive Secretary, Alicia Barcena, during the release of the economic survey report for Latin America on Thursday,
ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Barcena, during the release of the economic survey report for Latin America on Thursday, photo by Carlos Vera/ECLAC.

ECLAC pointed out the need for macroeconomic policies to enable long-term growth and to promote structural changes in the region’s economy. For the agency, it is also important to increase public revenues as well as public investments.

“This means moving toward countercyclical frameworks for fiscal policy that defend and promote public and private investment. This involves revising fiscal rules so they continue to serve as pro-stability instruments, but also as pro-investment,” Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary said during Thursday’s press conference in Chile.

According to the latest ECLAC economic report, after two years of contraction, growth in the region will occur because the economies have benefited from an overall more positive international growth context and an improvement in the prices of raw materials exported by the region.

The document shows that all countries in the region will have positive growth rates this year with the exceptions of Venezuela (GDP -7.2 percent) and Suriname and Saint Lucia, (GDP -0.2 percent).

The ECLAC growth estimate for Brazil falls between the government’s GDP forecast for this year, of -0.5 percent, and market estimates, that forecast a 0.34 percent growth. In 2016, Brazil’s GDP registered a retraction, falling by -3.6 percent.

For government officials the latest indicators confirm the stabilization of the economy and the resumption of growth after a two-year recession.

“There are prospects of a gradual resumption of economic activity. Evidence of recovery and pace may be clearer over the next few months, but there are already recent signs,” Central Bank president Ilan Goldfajn said on Thursday in a speech at Goldman Sachs.

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