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Worst effects of economic crisis passed in Brazil: finance minister
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Brazil has already suffered the worst of the international financial crisis and its economy will start growing again in the second half of 2009, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Friday.

"I believe that, gradually, the country will recover its dynamism. But it will only start accelerating in the second half," he said.

The worst effects of the crisis, registered in the last quarter of 2008, were caused by a sudden decrease in the international credit market and affected Brazil's financial system, Mantega said.

Brazil is already showing signs of recovery, as the economy is registering better results now than in the fourth quarter of 2008, the finance minister said.

The government is working with a target of 4 percent GDP growth for 2009, Mantega said. He qualified as pessimistic the projections of some analysts who stated that the country's economy would not grow this year.

Some industry indicators will register good results in February, he said without any details.

Mantega asked society, especially businessmen, to avoid what he called "the parsimony trap." He also encouraged businessmen to be daring and brave so that Brazil will emerge stronger from the crisis.

He reaffirmed the government's position that Brazil is in better condition than most of the world's economies.

"In a crisis situation, there may be a reaction from the businessmen to postpone investments, keep their cash in hand and observe without taking risks. If everyone acts this way, then we really will decelerate the economy," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency Feburary 14, 2009)

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