Brazil’s central bank on Thursday slashed its growth forecast for 2018 gross domestic product after a nationwide truckers strike paralyzed key sectors of Latin America’s largest economy. The bank sees GDP growth of 1.6% this year, according to its quarterly inflation report, compared to 2.6% previously.
Brazilian President Michel Temer said on Thursday there was no risk of a currency crisis in Latin America's largest economy despite sharp falls in the exchange rate, while the central bank chief pledged to maintain the bank's intervention in the market.
Brazil's policy makers welcomed an upward revision of the country's growth by the International Monetary Fund, while downplaying the fact its estimate remains lower than others.
Brazil’s lawmakers can’t duck their responsibility to pass belt-tightening measures, central bank President Ilan Goldfajn told a Senate hearing in Brasilia this week. Reform proposals, particularly a constitutional amendment to limit pension spending, will help keep inflation low, reduce the structural interest rate and buoy the country’s overall recovery, Goldfajn said.
Brazilian Central Bank President Ilan Goldfajn said that Latin America's largest economy remains weak though it is on course to show modest growth next year. In an interview with a São Paulo radio station, he said Brazil may achieve growth of 2% in 2018 if the economy continues expanding at its current pace.
Brazil's union federations will hold a second strike on Friday with demonstrations against the government's economic reforms and to demand the resignation of President Michel Temer, who has vowed to approve labour flexibility in the coming weeks.
Brazil's central government registered a primary budget deficit of 154.255 billion reais (US$49.40 billion) in 2016, meeting its target but recording a third consecutive annual deficit that reflects the dire state of the country's finances. In December, the country posted a primary deficit of 60.124 billion reais (US$19.25 billion).
Brazil's Central Bank (BC) President Ilan Goldfajn said on Monday that the outcome of the US presidential election, won by magnate Donald Trump, brought an element of uncertainty to markets, but reiterated that the institution has kept a close watch on the development of international markets and worked to prevent the effects of external shocks from threatening macroeconomic stability.
Brazil's central bank kept interest rates at a decade high for the ninth straight time on Wednesday, but did not discard a cut rate later this year if stubbornly high inflation subsides. In a unanimous vote, the bank's monetary policy committee, Copom, kept its benchmark Selic rate at 14.25%, its highest since July 2006.
The Brazilian Real weakened further on Friday after interim President Michel Temer showed concern over currency strength, while stocks edged lower following a heavy batch of quarterly results including state controlled oil company Petrobras.