Brazil freezes $13.7 billion from budget to meet fiscal goal

Maria Luiza Rabello, Matthew Malinowski – Bloomberg, 05/22/2013

Brazil’s government has frozen 28 billion reais ($13.7 billion) in its 2013 budget as it tries to meet its primary surplus target, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said.

Officials did not freeze portions of the budget set aside for investments and hosting the World Cup soccer tournament, Mantega told reporters today in Brasilia. The government may increase abatements against this year’s fiscal surplus goal to 45 billion reais, Mantega said, up from February’s estimate of 25 billion reais.

President Dilma Rousseff’s administration this year is seeking to meet Brazil’s primary surplus goal of 155.9 billion reais without undermining economic growth. Authorities have extended tax cuts and increased spending to spur the economy, even as such measures have helped keep annual inflation near the 6.5 percent upper limit of the central bank’s target range.

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