RIO DE JANEIRO, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Brazil announced a 4 billion U.S. dollar (8.4 billion reais) stimulus package Wednesday to boost the nation's flagging economy, mostly through government purchases.
Finance Minister Guido Mantega announced the measure, saying the move came as the financial crisis worsens in developed nations.
"The European crisis continues to get worse and it's causing global economic growth to fall," said Mantega. "With that in mind, the Brazilian government is taking stimulus measures so we can increase investment, increase demand, increase confidence, and accelerate our growth."
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff said on the same day that the crisis does not frighten Brazil, even though it is still a matter of concern.
Brazil's growth has been gradually decelerating, registering just 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012. In 2011, its GDP grew by 2.7 percent, the lowest among the BRICS emerging economy nations.
Despite the deceleration, Mantega remained optimistic about seeing higher growth rates in the second half of 2012, predicting Brazil will grow more in 2012 than it did last year.
The planned public sector purchases, which will give preference to Brazilian-made products, include a long list of items, from school desks and dialysis equipment to ambulances, armored vehicles and trucks.
The package also includes construction, with plans to build or renovate school sports facilities and renew bus fleets.
The government of President Dilma Rousseff is also offering a credit line through the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) to municipalities and states for the purchase of hospital equipment.