Brazil’s Minister of Finance, Guido Mantega predicts that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which represents the total wealth produced in the country, will grow as much as 4.5% in 2006.

    The minister bases his assessment on data from the first quarter, when the GDP grew 1.4%, and the macroeconomic situation, including the reduction in the benchmark interest rate.

    He also takes into consideration the effect of the increase in the minimum wage, and the trend in industrial growth. According to Mantega, there will be "improved dynamism" in the second half of the year.

    Yesterday, July 3, the minister presented a detailed report on public sector investments in the last eight years.

    According to his projections, federal government investments will decrease from an average of 0.90% of the GDP over the period 1999-2002 to 0.70% of the GDP in 2003-2006.

    On the other hand, public sector investments have been bolstered by the contribution of government enterprises, whose investments rose from 0.98% to 1.38% of the GDP over the same periods.

    ABr

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