RPT-UPDATE 2-Rousseff: "Can't explain" why Brazil economy so slow
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By Brian Winter
BRASILIA, June 3 (Reuters) - President Dilma Rousseff said on Tuesday she cannot fully explain why Brazil's economy is growing so slowly, attributing problems to markets' "ill humor" toward the World Cup host nation rather than any urgent need for reforms.
In a rare, nearly three-hour-long interview with international reporters, Rousseff sounded broadly satisfied with her left-leaning government's course ahead of a bid for re-election in October, though Brazil has fallen under a harsh spotlight ahead of the soccer tournament starting on June 12.
Brazil's economy has averaged only 2 percent growth since the former Marxist guerrilla took office in 2011, about half the pace that made it a Wall Street darling last decade.
Many investors and business leaders say sweeping tax, labor and other reforms are needed to unlock a new era of growth.
But Rousseff, speaking over cocktails and dinner at her presidential palace, said domestic conditions are already ripe for healthy growth and seemed to downplay the need for major economic changes if she is reelected to a second term.
"You can't explain why" Brazil isn't growing faster, she said. "All conditions point to Brazil not only growing, but growing well."
"There seems to be an ill mood toward Brazil today," she said. "I don't know why." Continuación...