Brazil’s economy grows at fastest clip in 15 months

August 18th, 2012 - 1:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Brasilia, Aug 18 (IANS/EFE) Brazil’s economy expanded by 0.75 percent in June relative to the previous month as tax breaks stimulated growth, the central bank said.

The uptick in the bank’s economic activity index was the biggest since March 2011, when it rose 1.47 percent, the institution said Friday.

The central bank, which has lowered its 2012 growth forecast for the world’s sixth-largest economy from 4.5 percent to 3 percent due to global economic woes, also said it was an auspicious sign that the economy grew 0.99 percent in June relative to same month of 2011.

The bank said the rise in economic activity in June was the result of a series of measures adopted by President Dilma Rousseff’s administration, which has stimulated consumer spending by lowering taxes on automobiles, furniture, home appliances and other products.

In a bid to further spur growth and investment, the government this week unveiled a 133 billion reais ($65.5 billion) plan to improve Brazil’s infrastructure and spur economic growth.

The plan, which will involve awarding private firms concessions for the construction of nearly 7,500 km of highways and 10,000 km of railways, is aimed at improving links between productive areas and the country’s seaports and airports.

On Thursday, the finance ministry gave 17 of the country’s 27 states more scope for taking on debt. With the decision, states will gain access to an additional 42.2 billion reais ($21.1 billion) in state loans.

Those funds must be allocated for improving infrastructure, sanitation systems, urban transport and the environment and, according to Finance Minister Guido Mantega, “will provide a significant boost to investment”.


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