Press Release: Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Conclusion of her Visit to Brazil

May 22, 2015

Press Release No. 15/235
May 22, 2015

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement today in Rio de Janeiro:

“It has been a pleasure to be back in Brazil. I would like to thank President Dilma Rousseff, as well as all the other high-ranking officials with whom I met including Central Bank President Alexandre Tombini, Minister of Finance Joaquim Levy, and Minister of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger Tereza Campello for their welcome and fruitful discussions about the global economy and the prospects for Brazil. I also had the opportunity to engage with academics and policymakers during the Central Bank’s Inflation Targeting Seminar in Rio, as well as meeting with private sector representatives.

“I congratulated the authorities for the remarkable advances Brazil has made in addressing poverty and inequality through targeted and coordinated interventions, including conditional cash transfer programs through Bolsa Familia that are considered models by the international community. I had the opportunity to see some of these social programs in action and was especially impressed by the training to empower women so they can be successful, independent entrepreneurs in their communities.

“As underlined by the authorities, preserving these social gains and ensuring strong and inclusive growth in the future hinges on strengthening macroeconomic policies and restoring credibility. In this context, I welcomed the government’s ambitious fiscal adjustment plan to bring the primary surplus to the announced targets of 1.2 percent of GDP in 2015 and at least 2 percent of GDP in 2016 and 2017. Together with the end of policy lending from the Treasury to public banks, this will help stabilize and then reduce gross public debt. Consistent with the fiscal policy stance, authorities have been tightening monetary policy to prevent second round effects from increases in regulated prices and currency depreciation, and to secure inflation expectations.

“Looking further ahead, addressing supply-side bottlenecks remains critical for boosting Brazil’s productive capacity and growth potential, and ultimately bringing about higher living standards. We also agree that the government should continue to focus on infrastructure investment, including through concessions, and initiatives to enhance tax efficiency and the quality of public spending, improve the business climate, and foster international trade. I am optimistic that steadfast implementation of these adjustment measures will help pave the way for a return of sustainable and inclusive growth

“In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that the IMF truly values and appreciates Brazil’s partnership and contribution as one of our most dynamic member countries. Once again, I would like to thank the authorities and the people of Brazil for their gracious hospitality during my visit.”


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