BRASILIA – Brazil’s government upwardly revised on Thursday its economic growth forecasts for this year and next, saying it projects the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by 1.1 percent in 2017 and 3 percent in 2018.
Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles presented those projections at a press conference in this capital.
“First of all, there’s much greater confidence resulting from fiscal control, a reduction in public spending, the reforms in general and discussions under way” with a view to tightening pension eligibility requirements, which will enable a reduction in the traditional social welfare deficit, he said.
In its previous forecast, the government had predicted a resumption of growth of 0.5 percent in 2017 and 2 percent in 2018 after a deep recession that had seen GDP fall by just over 7 percent between 2015 and 2016.
The latest forecasts unveiled Thursday are “even quite conservative, yet sound” and supported by a clear improvement in economic activity, a reduction in corporate debt, higher consumption and a drop in Brazil’s benchmark interest rate, which has been reduced to a record low of 7 percent this year, Meirelles said.
“We have a confluence of positive factors,” the minister said, pointing to “growing confidence, expectations of subdued inflation, a reduction in interest rates, and with it, a drop in the country’s risk rating,” he added.
Those factors, which “are reflected in all of the (country’s) economic indicators ... will facilitate investment and incentivize consumption,” which is one of the major engines of the national economy, the finance minister said.