Brazilian President Michel Temer says unemployment is his top concern this year, as the country emerges from its worst recession on record. Nathan Frandino reports.
Brazilian President Michel Temer says the end of a two-year recession is nearing. In an interview with Reuters, Temer says he sees that end coming in the second half this year. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT, MICHEL TEMER, SAYING: "We think that from the second semester onwards, or half way through the second semester, unemployment will begin to reduce and growth will come once and for all." That growth is his focus. Eight months after taking over from impeached leftist Dilma Rousseff, Temer has pushed through measures to rein in public spending and provide credit to small- and medium-sized companies. Inflation has slowed significantly, but economic activity has yet to pick up. Corruption allegations against politicians, including Temer and his allies, has shaken investor confidence. Still, Temer says job creation for the country's 12 million unemployed - not graft probe - is his top worry. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT, MICHEL TEMER, SAYING: "Our concern is to put the country back on track! I say that often because we still have two years to do that. So if Brazil is back on track in two years - on track economically, ethically and morally - then the next government will find the country in order, and be able to make it grow progressively more." It's a track that Temer is confident he can put the country on before the next presidential election in 2018.