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Social media round-up: Brazil protests grow in number and meaning

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Brazil's $66 billion stimulus could signal a shift in its growth strategy

Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff announced a $66 billion stimulus plan intended to revive the country's road and railway systems and to help bolster the economy, according to the Financial Times. The country which was once an emerging market darling has seen its economic growth slow since late last year.

Brazil: Social programs unveiled for low-income families

Families below a certain income level with at least one child aged 0 to 6 will receive a minimum stipend from the government of 70 reais ($35) per month for each family member.

Yet another minister resigns from Brazil government

Mario Negromonte is the seventh minister to resign under allegations of corruption under Rousseff
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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends a ceremony at a base for Brazilian UN Peacekeepers in Port-au-Prince on Febuary 1, 2012. Rousseff arrived in Haiti Wednesday for talks on economic ties and immigration. AFP PHOTO/Thony BELIZAIRE (Photo credit should read THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images) (THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images)
A seventh minister has resigned from the government of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff amid charges of corruption.

Brazil’s economy now 7th-largest in world

GDP grew by 7.5 percent last year, surpassing economies of France and the UK

Brazil now boasts the seventh-largest economy in the world, Brazilian finance minister Guido Mantega said today. New statistics show the country’s 7.5 percent GDP growth in 2010 was the highest since 1986. (In terms of land area and population, Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country.) Last year’s economic growth means Brazil’s economy now ranks above those of France and the UK. While all this is good news, economists are quick to point out that Brazil doesn’t have the infrastructure to sustain this kind of growth without causing problems like inflation. In interviews with Globo News, IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn and other economic experts warned of the dangers of an overheating economy. President Dilma Rousseff addressed those fears by reiterating that the economy will not keep growing at that rate. This year and next, she said she expects Brazil’s economy to grow around 4.5 percent.


Brazil to boost payments to poor

The world’s largest conditional cash transfer program set to get even bigger

Barely a week after the government rejected proposals to boost minimum wage above inflation, President Dilma Rousseff announced an increase in payments the government makes to poor families in exchange for keeping their children healthy and in school.

The average increase will be 19.4 percent but some families, particularly extremely poor ones with many children, could see as much as a 45 percent boost. On average the adjustment is eight percent greater than Brazil’s overall inflation since September 2009, when the program was last adjusted. Known as Bolsa Familia, the program started under president Fernando Henrique Cardoso and expanded under Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and has been credited with pulling millions out of poverty.

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