Poll shows improvement in Brazil President Temer's low approval rating

Brazil's President Michel Temer speaks during the Order of Cultural Merit ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil December 19, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The approval rating for Brazilian President Michel Temer’s scandal-plagued government has doubled to 6 percent from the prior survey, a new poll published on Wednesday showed, as the country’s economy continues to improve.

The survey by pollster Ibope, conducted between Dec. 7-10, said the number of people who considered Temer’s government “bad” or “terrible” fell to 74 percent, from 77 percent in the previous survey in September.

That represents the first improvement in Temer’s unfavorable rating since he took over last year from his predecessor Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached for breaking budget rules.

Brazil’s economy continues to strengthen as it exits its worst recession in a century, posting its third consecutive quarter of growth in the third quarter.

The poll comes as Brazil’s Congress heads into a winter recess until February without voting to overhaul the pension system, Temer’s top policy initiative that is seen as vital to fixing the country’s finances but is widely unpopular.

The government has notched some smaller legislative successes, including more flexible labor regulations that came into effect last month. In October, the lower house of Congress again rejected corruption charges against Temer.

Writing by Jake Spring; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum