BRASILIA, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Brazil raised its predictions of economic growth for 2017 from 0.5 percent to 1.1 percent, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said on Thursday.
"The GDP fell sharply in 2016 and is rising significantly in 2017. While there has been a great increase this year, there is a weight from last year that has trended the average downwards," Meirelles said in a statement.
The minister said that these new calculations reflect the drop in levels of debt among the private sector.
"During the recession, (companies) were leveraged, they rose their level of debt," said Meirelles, adding that the economic recovery has led to companies and individuals to spend more.
Furthermore, the growth expectations for 2018 were raised from 2 percent to 3 percent.
For 2018, he said the new prediction reflected an increasing gain of confidence among markets, which now work with expectations of controlled inflation.
"We have a meeting of positive factors. There has been a great increase in confidence in the economy and this helps with investment. The increase in confidence also helps consumption and the ongoing reforms lead to a potential drop in structural interest rates," Meirelles said.
He added that the government was hoping to meet its economic goals for 2017 and 2018, despite the delays in Congress approving social security reform.