By Dow Jones Business News, October 17, 2013, 11:22:00 AM EDT
BRASILIA--A resumption of private and public-sector investment will spur a recovery of Brazil's economic growth this
year and next, Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Thursday.
Speaking on the anniversary of the government's PAC growth-acceleration program, Mr. Mantega said the government was
betting heavily on a series of planned public-concession auctions to bring more money into the economy.
"It's important to show how the concessions will promote growth of the economy," he said. "Growth in 2014 will be
boosted by investment and there will be more growth."
Brazil's economy is expected to grow by about 2.5% this year after growth of only about 0.9% in 2012.
Mr. Mantega said the government's concession program, which includes highways, airports, ports and oil and mining
rights, could attract close to half a trillion dollars in coming years.
He said the government estimated the upcoming auction of Brazil's offshore oil field Libra, would alone bring close to
$180 billion in investment.
Mr. Mantega said Brazil's economy was showing signs of improved traction in the second half this year, drawing
attention to record payroll figures posted in the month of September.
Consumption, he said, continued to grow despite tightening local credit conditions.
Mr. Mantega added that he also believed the global economy and Brazil's economy could be aided by the resolution this
week of a nagging budget impasse in the U.S. that brought a threat of debt default.
On Brazil's own budget, Mr. Mantega said the government was practicing a "counter-cyclical" budget policy that allowed
for more spending during periods of low growth, but added that the government hadn't given up on its pledge to cut the
country's nominal budget deficit to zero over time.
"The tendency is that it continues declining," he said. "We're going to pursue an ever lower nominal result."
Mr. Mantega, meanwhile, said the government was confident inflation had been put on a path of decline by recent
government and central-bank policies, noting inflation had come in below the ceiling of the country's official target
band for the past 10 years.
Additionally, the minister said he was comfortable with the country's exchange rate at around 2.16 reais to the
"We have an exchange rate that is more competitive than it was in 2011," he said.
-Bruno Lourenco in Brasilia contributed to this article.
Write to Gerald Jeffris at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.