IMF calls on crisis-hit Brazil to bolster economy


Washington (AFP)

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday called on Brazil to reinforce its economy as the country grapples with a severe political and economic crisis.

"Clearly, Brazil is facing a difficult situation and the key for Brazil is to strengthen the economic framework," IMF spokesman Bill Murray said at a news conference.

Latin America's biggest economy shrank 3.8 percent in 2015, the largest contraction in 25 years, and is bracing for another year of recession in 2016.

"Brazil should strengthen the macroeconomic framework that has served it well in the past to turn around confidence and boost investment," Murray said told reporters.

He gave examples of exchange-rate flexibility and "fiscal responsibility".

Brazil, which received IMF financial assistance in the 1990s, has not requested aid from the international lender, he said.

Brazil is facing one of its worst political crises in its history amid growing public anger at President Dilma Rousseff and her administration and an explosive corruption scandal at state oil giant Petrobras.

The IMF is "obviously following developments there closely," Murray said. "But as a matter of policy we don't delve into political developments in our member countries."