Brazil's economy grew just 0.1% last year, barely keeping the country out of a recession, the government's statistics bureau said on Friday. It was the worst result since 2009 and bad news for President Dilma Rousseff, whose popularity has plummeted along with Brazil's economic performance.
Brazilian authorities on Thursday said they uncovered a tax fraud scheme at the Finance Ministry's tax appeals board that may have cost taxpayers up to 19 billion Reais (5.96 billion dollars).
Brazil's private sector believes the depreciation of the Real against the dollar can help spur a manufacturing sector recovery even though the business climate has been affected by the Petrobras scandal, an official with the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo, Fiesp, said.
Brazil's economy will contract 0.5% in 2015 and inflation will climb to 7.9%, ending the year far outside the tolerance range, the Central Bank admitted on Thursday in its latest quarterly inflation report.
Brazilian engineering firm Galvao Engenharia said on Wednesday it filed for bankruptcy protection, as state-run oil company Petrobras cut off payments due to a broad corruption scandal in which it had been implicated.
Argentina's Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said on Wednesday a deal between Citigroup Inc and U.S. judge Thomas Griesa allowing the banking giant to process two Argentine debt payments violated the country's laws.
Brazil's central bank announced on Tuesday it will not extend its currency intervention program past March 31 as a combination of political problems at home and fears of higher U.S. interest rates push the Real near its lowest levels in a decade. The bank will, however, roll over all swaps expiring after May 1.
A majority of Brazilians favor impeaching President Dilma Rousseff due to the economic slump and a snowballing corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras, according to a poll released this week. But despite calls for Rousseff's ouster and recent street demonstrations against her government, opposition leaders have resisted pushing for impeachment and say it is unlikely.
The Obama administration has again invited Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff for a state visit to Washington, a diplomatic breakthrough that both sides hope will lead over time to greater trade between the two biggest economies in the Americas.
Financial experts expect Brazil's economy to shrink 0.83% in 2015, its biggest contraction since 1990, and inflation to climb to 8.12%, its highest level since 2003, according to the results of a Central Bank survey released on Monday.