Brazil economy back on rails early next year: minister

By Xinhua,

Rio de Janeiro : Brazil, recovering from the impact of the global financial meltdown, expects its economy to grow in the first half of 2009.

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Labour Minister Carlos Lupi said the country’s economy will see an estimated 4.5 percent growth in 2009, higher than the previously projected four percent by the finance ministry and 3.2 percent by the central bank.

After registering its first fall in five years in November, the number of new jobs in the country is expected to grow in March 2009, Lupi said.

“I believe that the United States has gone through its worst moment, and the worst that could happen to the Brazilian economy has already happened.”

Brazil’s economic development is also expected to grow at the end of the first quarter of 2009, following the inauguration of U.S. president-elect Barack Obama, the minister said.

One of the signs of a return to economic growth, Lupi said, is the real increase in sales during Christmas, which saw a year-on-year jump of 3.5 percent. He believed the growth could reach six percent by the end of the current sales season.