Economy

Anadolu Agency

LONDON — Brazil lost 1.54 million jobs in 2015, officials said Thursday, as the country’s economy continues to contract amid the worst recession in a generation.

Industrial, civil construction and services sectors were worst affected, according to statistics issued by Brazil’s Ministry of Labor and Employment, which represent the worst result in 24 years.

Labor Minister Miguel Rossetto admitted 2015 had been a “difficult” year. “It is not a good result. We saw a reduction in jobs and average salaries, but the victories of previous years have been preserved as the level of jobs remains high,” Rossetto was quoted by local media as saying.

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Anadolu Agency

LONDON — Brazil’s economy will shrink by nearly 3 percent in 2016, according to estimates published Monday in a weekly central bank survey of 100 of the country’s economic institutions.

Gross domestic product in Latin America’s largest economy will contract by 2.95 percent in the thirteenth consecutive cut in the outlook for 2016.

The predictions are more than previously expected by economists, as economic output and confidence continue to dwindle amid a prolonged political crisis.

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SÃO PAULO — Joaquim Levy stepped down as Brazil’s finance minister on Friday evening, ending months of speculation over his role. He was replaced by former planning minister Nelson Barbosa, who is seen as closer to leftist President Dilma Rousseff.

Levy was a proponent of tough fiscal measures which he backed to lift Brazil out of the worst recession it has experienced in 25 years.

His appointment and fiscal adjustment plans had been warmly welcomed by the markets, and was widely seen as an attempt by the government to draw greater confidence in the Brazilian economy from investors.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO — Brazil is back in recession after official figures announced Friday showed Latin America’s largest economy contracted 1.9 percent in the second quarter of 2015.

Figures from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, the IBGE, said the economy had shrunk by 1.9 percent between April and June, after contracting a revised 0.7 percent in the first quarter of the year – itself significantly worse than the result previously announced of -0.2 percent.

A technical recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

The second-quarter figures represent a contraction of 2.6 percent year-on-year – the fifth consecutive negative figure for this comparison.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO — British banking giant HSBC announced Tuesday that it will close its retail banking operations in Brazil, as part of a global overhaul of its workforce that could cut up to 50,000 jobs worldwide.

Currently the sixth largest high street bank in Brazil, HSBC employs 21,479 people in the South American country, according to the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, with 853 branches focusing operations on higher earners.

HSBC plans to sell off its branches and end retail operations by the end of 2016, but will retain a “modest” operation in Brazil to service its largest corporate clients’ international needs.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO — Brazil will cut its 2015 budget by a historic 69.9 billion Brazilian reais ($23 billion) to ensure the government hits its fiscal targets this year, planning minister Nelson Barbosa announced Friday.

The government also said the austerity measures, the biggest spending freeze in the country’s history, would act as a “first step” to returning Brazil to economic growth.

Barbosa said 38 percent (25.7 billion reais) of savings would come from cuts to the government’s Growth Acceleration Program – the ruling government’s flagship program funding new infrastructure projects.

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Press TV

SÃO PAULO Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang have signed $53 billion of agreements in a range of areas, including infrastructure, agriculture and energy, in what is being hailed as a new era in Sino-Brazilian relations.

The new wave of Chinese investment in Brazil has come at an opportune moment, as the Brazilian economy continues to struggle and a vast corruption scandal at Petrobras bears down on both the political world and the country’s top construction companies.

Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO — Brazil’s economy will shrink by 1 percent in 2015, down markedly on previous forecasts, according to a report by the IMF released on Tuesday.

“Latin America’s outlook will continue to weaken due to lower commodity prices. Brazil’s outlook is also affected by a drought, tighter macroeconomic policies, and weak private sector sentiment,” the report said.

The IMF analysis also cited the risk of water and energy rationing and repercussions from a sprawling corruption scandal at state-run oil giant Petrobras, Brazil’s largest company, as complicating the country’s economic outlook.

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