Once hailed as an emerging economic giant, Brazil announced a $17 billion austerity package on Monday that will freeze public-sector salaries, eliminate ministries, cut jobs and trim social programs.
“These are major corrections,” said Finance Minister Joaquim Levy, Agence France-Presse reported.
The package is designed to address a severe economic downturn. Standard & Poor’s cut Brazil’s sovereign credit rating to junk last week, giving it a score lower than Russia. The South American nation announced last month that its economy is officially in recession; GDP is forecasted to shrink by 1.49% this year after it grew by only 0.1% last year.