Lula on Brazil: ‘We Shall Surprise and Grow Over 5%’

    Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva once again declared that this year will be more promising than 2004, especially when it comes to new investments in Brazil.

    Speaking, yesterday, February 22, at a ceremony to sign the terms for the implantation of the Mining and Steel Pole of Corumbá, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the President said that, in the steel sector alone, between mining and steel production, US$ 25 billion will be invested in the next 25 years.


    According to the President, Brazil ought to grow more than 5% this year. “We shall surprise people this year and grow more than 5%, once again. And create more jobs, once again,” Lula affirmed.


    He recalled that last year witnessed the creation of the greatest number of new jobs since 1992 and that industrial production was the greatest since 1986.


    The President asserted that the first and second years of a new Administration are always “very poor.”


    “You only really get started in the third year. Any first-term mayor will discover this very, very quickly,” he commented.


    Optimism


    Brazilian industrialists are optimistic about the economy in the first half of 2005. Data released January 25 by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) from the 154th Conjunctural Survey of the Manufacturing Sector reveal that 59% believe that business will improve, as against only 4% that think things will get worse.


    The 55% difference between the two extremes represents the best result ever for this time of year, 1% higher than the difference in January, 2004. The survey embraces the period between October, 2004, and January, 2005.


    The FGV study also informs that the Brazilian industry continues to follow the growth path initiated in the second half of 2003 and that prospects for the coming months are good. Another important finding that confirms the industrialists’ confidence is the outlook for employment in the sector.


    The survey emphasizes that the weak performance of the sector between September and November of last year does not mean “a breakdown of the current growth cycle but, rather, an adjustment after several months of accelerated expansion.”


    Translation: David Silberstein
    Agência Brasil

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