June 1 (UPI) — The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, or IBGE, said the country’s economy grew 1 percent in the first three months of 2017, the first sign of growth after two years of recession.
The Brazilian economy shrank nearly 8 percent for eight consecutive financial quarters. The recession became Brazil’s worst after the 2015 and 2016 economies shrunk 3.8 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.
The economic boost was aided by a record harvest of soybeans, which is one of Brazil’s main exports, the IBGE said Wednesday.
Jornal O Globo reported that although the economic growth technically means the end of the recession, most economists say it is too early to declare the economic crisis over because there are no clear signs of recovery in most economic sectors. About 14 million people are unemployed in Brazil, the IBGE said earlier this week.
Brazil’s uncertainty extends to the political atmosphere. Stocks plummeted in May after President Michel Temer was accused of endorsing payments to silence jailed politician Eduardo Cuhna as a potential witness in a corruption investigation.
As Brazilians protest in the streets demanding Temer’s impeachment or resignation, the status of his planned economic austerity reforms are in doubt, which further cloud assessment of Brazil’s economic future.