RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s economy is growing at an annual rate of 5 percent after being in a recession until the first quarter of this year, and it could end 2009 with growth of 1 percent, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said on Tuesday.
“The Brazilian economy was one of the last to enter in the crisis and one of the first to come out,” Mantega said in an address to a group of Brazilian and Italian business leaders.
“Brazil was strong going into the crisis because it had an economy that had grown with dynamism,” Mantega said, noting that the economy barely contracted in the two quarters beginning last October.
After growing about 1.9 percent in the second quarter, compared to the first quarter, growth in the third quarter of this year should come in between 8 percent and 10 percent, the finance minister said.
The average growth rate in recent years was more than 5 percent and the economy should expand at close to 5 percent in 2010 after recovering this year, Mantega said.
“Brazil has already started a new cycle of expansion that is going to last in coming years,” Mantega said, noting several projects that should boost future growth.
He mentioned development of the massive oil reserves discovered in Brazil’s Atlantic waters, ongoing infrastructure and housing investment, and projects for the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, such as the high-speed rail line between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
Foreign investors’ interest in Brazil is so great that the government had to impose a tax on inflows of foreign capital to prevent the rise of the real against the dollar, Mantega said. EFE