Brazil economy to grow less than expected in 2017: finance minister

Brazilian Real and U.S. dollar notes are pictured at a currency exchange office in Rio de Janeiro

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The Brazilian economy is likely to expand at a slower pace than expected this year, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said on Wednesday, adding that the government may need to increase taxes.

Speaking to journalists, Meirelles said gross domestic product (GDP) is likely to increase 2 percent in the fourth quarter from the year before, down from a previously expected 2.7 percent. As a result, full-year growth should average “a bit less” than the official 2 percent estimate, he added.

(Reporting by Thais Freitas; Writing by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)