BRASILIA, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Although acknowledging the country remains in difficult straits, Brazilian President Michel Temer said his government had actively reversed economic woes after a year in power.
"This was hard but the balance is positive. We have (seen) concrete results and good reasons to be confident. Brazil is returning to the path of growth. We must now keep going...in the second year, we will have a restructured and efficient country," he announced.
Explaining that he took over the country in a state of economic recession, with soaring unemployment, rising inflation and high interest rates, Temer said his government was making great changes that would be valued in the future.
Among the main actions of his government, Temer pointed to an increase for health and education budgets, more investment in prisons, the approval of the secondary school reform and the renewal of the Mi Casa, Mi Vida (My House, My Life) program.
Speaking alongside the president, Economy Minister Henrique Meirelles told Congress that "economic recession is already a thing of the past."
"Brazil is living a moment of deep transformation," he explained. Meirelles pointed to a rise of 20 percent in consumption, a 20 percent spike in steel production, and 22 percent more grain harvesting, since the government came to power, "which has surpassed the most optimistic predictions."
However, he recognized the unemployment rate had not reversed as hoped. "Unemployment will still grow a bit as it has had a very slow reaction."
Meirelles also mentioned the drop in inflation, which lowered from 9.28 percent to 4.08 percent in the last year.
Temer came to power on May 12, 2016, after former president Dilma Rousseff was suspended by the Senate in the lead up to her impeachment trial.