Brazil Emerging From Its Worst Recession, Says Finance Minister

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s economy will emerge from its worst recession on record in the first quarter of this year, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said.

Latin America’s largest economy is to grow 0.5 percent to 0.7 percent quarter-on-quarter for the three months ending in March, Meirelles said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Washington D.C. He expects the economy to expand 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

He also said that the government had "not much room" for further concessions on its key pension reform bill currently being discussed in Congress.

Brazil’s government is in an uphill battle to convince investors it can dig the economy out of recession while bolstering public finances through austerity. That task has proven far from easy as policy makers slash growth estimates and confront stiff resistance to their flagship pension overhaul.

Economists surveyed by the central bank forecast gross domestic product to expand 0.4 percent this year.