The two-year recession, Brazil’s longest in over three decades, is over, President Michel Temer and Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles told a group of key congressmen on Tuesday. “The economy is showing solid signs of recovery,” Meirelles said. Temer said structural reforms in areas such as government spending, taxation and pensions were contributing to a return in business and consumer confidence. Brazil’s gross domestic product fell back by 3.8 percent in 2015. Figures for 2016 are expected to show a further decline of about 3.5 percent. Most economists are forecasting modest growth this year of about 1.0 percent. Meirelles, however, said momentum in the economy was growing. He predicted acceleration of the recovery to the point where annualized growth would reach 2 percent by the fourth quarter of 2017 and significantly higher levels in 2018. “Stocks are up, the (Brazilian) Real is strengthening and Brazil’s risk premium is in decline,” Meirelles said. “All of these signs show increased confidence in the Brazilian economy.” Temer and Meirelles spoke to a committee of congressmen studying the administration’s proposed pension reform plan.
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