‘Worst of the economic crisis over for Brazil’

February 19th, 2009 - 12:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 19 (IANS) Brazil has survived the worst of the global financial crisis and Latin America’s largest economy could see an upturn as early as the second quarter, the state-run Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) said.
The circumstances that led to a “Black December” for Brazilian industry could brighten soon, thanks to steps already taken by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government, such as tax cuts and moves to unfreeze domestic credit markets, EFE reported Wednesday.

“Various elements exist that permit us to infer a possible improvement in the country’s economic conditions in the coming months, or at least in the second half of 2009,” the IPEA said.

Earlier, Trade and Industry Minister Miguel Jorge said that there were encouraging signs from the country’s manufacturing sector.

He said new hiring by some textile firms, an increase in vehicle sales and absence of cheap imports from other developing countries seeking alternative outlets amid deep recession in the rich world, contributed positively.

IPEA’s director of Social Research, Marcio Wohlers, told a press conference that boost in auto production in January and increase in electricity consumption make it possible to envision an economic turnaround in the near future.

Last December, Brazil’s industrial production was down by 12.4 percent from the previous month, the biggest one-year drop since the government started collecting data, the report said.

Regarding credit, IPEA said after big declines in October and November, the volume of lending in December was approximately the same as in September, before the crisis.

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