FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Brazil's government expects the country to return to economic growth this year, ending the nation's longest and deepest downturn on record, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said on Thursday.
"We will announce (a GDP forecast) next week. What we can say (is) it's positive growth," Meirelles said on the sidelines of a banking conference in Frankfurt. "The first quarter will be a positive number," he said, adding that Brazil would also return to growth in the full year 2017.
Brazil's gross domestic product contracted by 3.6 percent last year, statistics agency IBGE said earlier this month, following a 3.8 percent drop in 2015.
- All of these celebrities have had their nudes leaked 35 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Apple Emoji update includes a llama, skateboard and some bagel drama 24 Pictures
Meirelles also said that if any further budget cuts should be decided they will amount to only a very small percentage of the total budget. He added that taxes my be hiked if necessary. "But there is no decision (yet)," he said.
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Christoph Steitz)