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Brazil names Ilan Goldfajn new central bank head

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Brazilian acting President Michel Temer gestures during a meeting with unions' representatives at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, May 16, 2016. Street protests and controversy over the absence of female ministers clouded Brazilian acting President Michel Temer's political honeymoon Monday as he began his first full week in power. / AFP PHOTO / EVARISTO SA

Brazilian acting President Michel Temer gestures during a meeting with unions’ representatives at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, May 16, 2016.<br />Street protests and controversy over the absence of female ministers clouded Brazilian acting President Michel Temer’s political honeymoon Monday as he began his first full week in power. / AFP PHOTO / EVARISTO SA

Brazil’s interim government on Tuesday named economist Ilan Goldfajn as the new head of the central bank, a key post in the fight to ease the giant economy out of recession and inflation.

Acting president Michel Temer’s new finance minister, Henrique Meirelles, was due to announce the rest of his economic team shortly.

Goldfajn, replacing Alexandre Tombini, will be a lynchpin in efforts by Temer to bring life back to Brazil’s economy. Temer took power last week after the Senate’s suspension of president Dilma Rousseff in an impeachment trial that she says is a coup.

The central bank described its new head in a statement as “a recognized professional with wide experience of the Brazilian financial sector (and) a broad vision of the national and international economy.”

His immediate challenges will include steadying the economic ship and helping to restore investor jitters.

Brazil is in its worst recession for decades, with the economy shrinking 3.5 percent last year and forecast by the IMF to do the same this year. Inflation is at around 10 percent and the central bank has maintained its interest rate at 14.25 percent for six consecutive months, stuck between fear of stoking prices and desire to stimulate the economy.

Temer is planning pension system reforms and cuts to the country’s bloated government. Brazil’s inability to bridge its widening fiscal gap led to major credit rating agencies stripping Latin America’s biggest economy of its investment grade rating last year.



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