By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The Brazilian economy continues to show signs of recovery and growth despite the current political turbulence, according to Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles. According to the official Meirelles the markets are “relatively stable”, indicating an expectation of continuity in the evolution of the Brazilian economy.
“We continue working normally. Brazil continues to function, regardless of political discussions,” said Meirelles at a press conference in the French capital, where he is attending a meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
In the past two months Brazil’s Congress has been reeling from disclosures that several politicians received bribes from meatpacking giant JBS for fiscal benefits. Key figures in Brazilian politics, including President Michel Temer, have been linked to illicit activities related to the Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption scandal.
These revelations have slowed down legislative works, some of which, like the pension and labor reforms, are vital to improve the economic scenario. Minister Meirelles, however, says that even if the pension reform delayed and approved only in the second half of this year, it will still bring ‘an extremely favorable result’ to public accounts.
In the OECD event, Brazil will also try to be accepted as a member of the economic group. “Entry to OECD is part of our reform agenda,” said Meirelles in his recently opened social network account.
The government maintains a forecast that the economy will grow 0.5 percent this year. Last week, Brazil’s Brazilian Statistics Bureau (IBGE) announced that after two consecutive years of declines the country’s economy registered a growth of one percent in the first quarter of 2017.