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Brazil set for growth, says official
July 29, 2013, 3:47 am

In mid-June millions took to the streets of major cities to protest transportation fee hikes [Xinhua]

In mid-June millions took to the streets of major cities to protest transportation fee hikes [Xinhua]

Brazilian Treasury Secretary Arno Augustin has said that he is optimistic about the country’s economic growth prospects and that market uncertainties will come to an end this year.

“My view continues to be for positive growth for the economy,” he said during a press conference on June central government results. “All the efforts we took will have an effect on the resumption of economic activities.”

Official figures released in July reflecting the status of Brazil’s economy in June indicated that inflation had slowed to 0.2 per cent that month. Over a six-month period, inflation stood at 3.15 per cent; the year-on-year inflation rate for June was 6.75 per cent, well above the Central Bank’s cap of 4.5 per cent.

Augustin said government policies over the past week were designed to accelerate growth and overcome currency fluctuations.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has approved numerous tax cuts and incentive measures to stimulate the economy since she came to power.

In the first five months of 2013, Brazil’s accumulated a trade deficit of 5.4 billion dollars, the worst ever recorded for the period.

The Brazilian government expects that its trade surplus for the year of 2013 will reach $15 billion against the market estimation of only $8.3 billion.

Augustin’s confidence was also given a boost last week when global ratings major Fitch said that Brazil’s debt outlook is stable, and that it sees signs of confidence being restored in the economy.

“Despite the difficult domestic economic environment and the policy missteps by the authorities in recent months, Fitch believes that there are signs of policy corrections that, if sustained, could help to restore confidence,” Fitch said in a statement.

The reports showing some progress in government efforts to turn around the economy could weather Rousseff’s recent plunge in popularity polls.

Approval ratings for Rousseff’s government have gone down by 23 per cent, according to an Ibope Institute poll, conducted between July 9-12, surveying more than 2,000 citizens in Brazilian cities and showed that ratings for the government dipped from 54 per cent to 31 per cent.

Ahead of a promised referendum on political reform in response to the worst social unrest and street protests in 20 years, Rousseff’s government continues to face growing unemployment – albeit by 0.1 per cent – and the challenges presented by Brazil’s overvalued currency, which has hurt exports, experts say.

Source: Agencies

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