Brazil's government popularity sinks deeper

Brazilian President Michel Temer took over last year after the impeachment of leftist president Dilma Rousseff, who was found guilty of illegal government accounting tricks

Only one in 10 Brazilians think President Michel Temer's government is doing a good job, according to a new poll Friday.

The Ibope poll commissioned by Brazil's National Confederation of Industry found just 31 percent consider Temer's government is doing an acceptable job, while 55 percent call the performance bad or terrible, and 10 percent said it was good or excellent.

The result maintained the downward slide of Temer's popularity. In December, the same polling organization found 13 percent considered he was doing a good job and in October it was 14 percent.

Temer took over last year after the impeachment of leftist president Dilma Rousseff, who was found guilty of illegal government accounting tricks.

He has promised to restore the economy to health after two years of recession, but his center-right government is no more popular than Rousseff's.

The new poll found that 38 percent of respondents think there is no difference in performance between the two governments, while 41 percent consider it's doing worse.

Despite government predictions of economic recovery within months, Brazil's jobless rate shot to 13.2 percent over the last quarter, the state statistics office said Friday.

The unemployment rate for December through February jumped from 12.6 percent in the previous quarter, which had been a third higher than the unemployment figures a year earlier.

This amounts to 13.5 million people out of work, the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute (IBGE) said. That's 1.4 million more than in the previous quarter and 3.4 million more than in the same period a year earlier.

Brazil's economy shrank 3.8 percent in 2015 and is expected to have contracted a further 3.5 percent in 2016, the most painful recession in a century.

However, the government and central bank forecast a modest return to growth in 2017. This will be boosted, Temer says, by far-reaching reforms intended to cut the deficit, reduce longterm spending and force fiscal responsibility.