BRASILIA, Jan 16 (Reuters) - The worst is over for the Brazilian economy, which is likely to start growing in the first quarter of 2017 after two years of recession, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said in an interview with newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo published on Monday.
Meirelles also said the central bank's decision to cut interest rates last week was "solid", technically justified and will help the economy grow quickly.
"We are seeing a recovery in the first quarter of 2017," Meirelles said.
Brazil's economy probably shrank more than 3 percent for a second straight year in 2016, according to government and market forecasts. With inflation slowing, the central bank cut its benchmark interest rate, the Selic, to 13 percent on Wednesday. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Hugh Lawson)