"After a surprisingly good start, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's popularity is bound to be tested in 2012, writes analyst Paulo Sotero.

Dilma Rousseff's first year in office was marked by two sets of bad news: one economic, the other ethical.

Brazil's economic growth slowed from 7.5% in 2010 to well below the 3.8% the government had been predicting even as late as November.

Among the factors behind this were Europe's deepening crisis, continued economic sluggishness in the US, the declining competitiveness of Brazilian businesses and the need to fight rising inflation.

At year's end, most economists expected GDP growth for 2011 to be under 3%, with inflation falling but still above the Central Bank target of 4.5%.

Lula's shadow

On the political front, Brazil's first female president faced a meltdown of ethical standards in her cabinet that was startling even in a nation accustomed to the voracity and cynicism of politicians when it comes to plundering public budgets and abusing government privileges.only its sporting infrastructure

Six of President Rousseff's 39 ministers left office in the space of six months after their alleged misdeeds, which they all denied, were exposed to the nation.

And yet Dilma, as Brazilians refer to her, has concluded her first year in the presidential palace, the Palacio do Planalto, with high personal approval ratings."

Read more at BBC News, click here.



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