UPDATE 1-Brazil economy faces "mini crisis," Fed partly to blame -fin min
* U.S. Fed has communicated stimulus policy "poorly"
* Mantega says economy better prepared to face challenges
SAO PAULO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Brazil's economy is going through a "mini crisis" stemming from global markets turbulence made worse by confusing messages from the U.S. Federal Reserve, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said on Monday.
Speaking at a meeting of business leaders in Sao Paulo, Mantega said that record-high foreign reserves and low public debt levels will help shield Brazil from a sharp drop in the value of its local currency and weaker economic growth both domestically and abroad.
"It's a mini crisis that we are going through, but it will have a much smaller impact than what happened, let's say, in the European crisis of 2011 and 2012," Mantega said.
Mantega said that the US Federal Reserve has communicated its plans to reduce monetary stimulus "poorly," prompting some of the wild swings in the value of currencies and stocks in emerging market economies.
In July, Mantega told Reuters the worst of the financial turbulence was likely over after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke clarified that a scale back in monetary stimulus hinged on the strength of the recovery in the United States.
After a brief period of calm the Brazilian real plunged to near five-year lows against the dollar in August, forcing the Brazilian central bank to launch a $60 billion currency intervention program last week to ease its depreciation.
A weaker real raises the value of imported goods and the cost of debt servicing for local companies, further hurting investors' confidence in Latin America's largest economy. The real has weakened about 17 percent since May.
Although the economy is likely to show a pick up in activity in the second quarter, recent data points to a weak recovery ahead with some economists predicting economic growth closer to 2 percent this year.
Mantega said the local economy would remain robust, however, boosted by an increase in investment and the impact of infrastructure concessions.
Some potential investors in those projects have raised concerns over government efforts to cap returns at a fixed rate, though Mantega said on Monday that the government in fact wants to offer "high returns."
President Dilma Rousseff has already sweetened the terms of concessions for airports, seaports, roads and railways as the government seeks more than $100 billion in private capital to fix dilapidated infrastructure that has become a hurdle to growth of Latin America's largest economy.