RIO DE JANEIRO, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles Tuesday played down the country's 3.6 percent GDP fall in 2016.
Released earlier on Tuesday by the official statistics agency IBGE, the GDP figures "refer to the past. It is like looking at the rearview mirror. It is the result of several policies which led the Brazilian economy to the worst crisis of its history," Meirelles said.
Brazil is already getting out of the crisis and the economy will register growth in the first quarter of 2017, he said.
Despite the minister's optimism, the figures indicate that the recession has intensified in the fourth quarter of 2016, with the GDP falling 0.9 percent compared to the third quarter.
Analysts hoped that a change in the government, with the fall of President Dilma Rousseff and the ascension of Michel Temer to the presidency, would have an immediate positive effect on the economy.