The president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silvasaid on Friday that the country is likely to grow responsibly, trying to calm market jitters about the potential for rampant social spending under his tenure.
Lula’s comments came as he kicked off his first cabinet meeting in Brasilia aimed at instilling discipline among the newly formed team after various miscommunications sent the real and the benchmark Bovespa tumbling 3.8% and 5%. , respectively, in his first days of management.
“It is possible that we will grow again with responsibility and income distribution,” said Lula, who took office on January 1.
On Friday, the real was up about 1.2% against the dollar, while the Bovespa gained 1.4%. They had already cut some losses in the previous two sessions.
Lula wanted to allay fears of a more interventionist stance in the economy. She also echoed comments by Planning Minister Simone Tebet, a centrist former senator who said a day earlier that the government would have multiple lines of thought on the economic agenda.
“We are not a government with a single thought, a single philosophy,” Lula said.
Analysts said Tebet’s comments helped lift markets. Also adding to investor confidence were comments from Lula’s chief of staff, who said the government was not considering any plans to review economic reforms, and from the incoming Petrobras chief executive who ruled out interventions in fuel prices.
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