Brazil energy crisis could wreck Rousseff economic agenda

Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 01/08/2013

President Dilma Rousseff cut short her vacation on Tuesday to deal with a budding energy crisis that could wreck her efforts to restore vitality to Brazil’s economy this year.

Rousseff denies there is any risk of electricity shortages or rationing stemming from a historic drought that has left hydroelectric dams short of water. But some independent analysts disagree, saying it depends on whether summer rains finally arrive in coming weeks.

Even if the worst is avoided, the crisis has already pushed up electricity prices on the spot markets and could torpedo Rousseff’s delicately balanced economic agenda. She is trying to revive an economy that likely grew less than 1 percent last year, while also keeping a lid on inflation now running above 5.7 percent.

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