Brazil vows to control government spending amid ‘worst recession’

Brasilia, June 9 (IANS) Brazil’s Minister of Finance said the accumulated drop of the country’s GDP in 2015 and 2016 could be the worst in its history, vowing to reverse the economic downturn by taking measures such as controlling government spending.

Henrique Meirelles on Wednesday lambasted the economic policies of the government of suspended President Dilma Rousseff, but swore that the country was now headed in “a new direction”, Xinhua news agency reported

He made the remarks when speaking to an audience of entrepreneurs at the presidential Planalto Palace, alongside interim President Michel Temer.

“Errors of judgement led to errors in the economy. We must now see what lies behind the recession and reverse this process,” said the minister.

In 2015, the Brazilian GDP shrank 3.8 per cent and a similar contraction is predicted for this year.

Furthermore, according to government figures, public spending grew by 5.8 per cent above inflation between 2007 and 2015.

“The entrepreneurs here present easily understand that this is unsustainable,” Meirelles noted.

The minister also listed a series of measures announced by the Temer government to reverse the country’s economic downturn, including creating a cap on government expenditure.

According to Meirelles, once the government shows it has brought spending under control, the signs of negative economic activity will begin to reverse.

“From the moment that all our fiscal measures are approved, I have no doubt that growth will return in the following quarters at a surprising speed. We can have a very strong recovery,” he added.

–IANS

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