BRASILIA – President Michel Temer said on Wednesday that his administration planned to provide 9 billion reais (nearly $2.9 billion) to stimulate Brazil’s small- and mid-sized businesses and a program to refinance debts.
Small- and mid-sized companies represent 98 percent of Brazil’s businesses, account for 27 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employ 60 percent of the labor force, providing “a permanent” source of job creation, Temer said.
Efforts to reduce unemployment, which has been decreasing but is still at 12.6 percent, are a priority for the government, Temer said.
“When someone gets a job, it is not just money coming in, but it also has to do with self-esteem and a sense of dignity that changes the mood within families,” the president said, adding that despite persistent headwinds, Brazil’s economy “is in a process of sustainable recovery.”
Brazil’s economy emerged in the second half of 2017 from a deep recession that trimmed almost seven percentage points from the GDP between 2015-2016.
In the first quarter of 2017, Brazil’s economy grew by 1 percent, and it expanded by 0.20 percent in the second quarter, leading economists to forecast full-year growth of 0.70 percent, matching Central Bank estimates.