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Aug 28, 2015

Brazil budget deficit widens in July, jeopardizes fiscal goal

BRASILIA, Aug 28 (Reuters) – Brazil’s primary budget deficit
widened more than expected in July, central bank data showed on
Friday, threatening government efforts to eke out at least a
small surplus this year to fend off a debt-rating downgrade.

Brazil posted a public sector primary budget deficit
of 10.02 billion reais ($2.81 billion) in July,
well above market estimates for a gap of 7.2 billion reais and
the third straight monthly deficit. It was the biggest deficit
for a month of July on record.

Aug 26, 2015

Brazil near deal on firms hit by Petrobras probe -source

BRASILIA, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Brazil’s government is
preparing a deal to allow construction companies implicated in a
massive corruption scandal to do business again with state-run
oil company Petrobras in exchange for the payment of fines and
damages, a government official briefed on the matter said on
Wednesday.

The official, who asked not to be named because negotiations
are not public, said the government is in talks with federal
prosecutors to finalize details of the deal, which would be
implemented through presidential decree.

Aug 24, 2015

Brazil austerity plan will cut number of ministries

BRASILIA, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Brazil will sharply pare back
the number of government ministries after years of expansion,
the administration said on Monday, in a move to show wary
markets President Dilma Rousseff’s commitment to an unpopular
austerity plan.

Planning Minister Nelson Barbosa said the government will
cut 10 of its 39 ministries to make the state more efficient,
but did not specify how much the government could save. He said
the government will reveal more details on Aug. 31.

Aug 18, 2015

Big business could help Brazilian president survive political storm

BRASILIA, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Brazilian business leaders may
have ideological differences with struggling leftist President
Dilma Rousseff, but calls for her impeachment make many of them
nervous, effectively giving her support from an unexpected
quarter.

The business community worries that a traumatic ouster would
pile a period of deep political uncertainty onto a downturn that
economists say could translate into a 2 percent contraction of
the economy this year.

Aug 11, 2015

Fiscal probe for Brazil’s Rousseff poses impeachment threat

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The biggest threat to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s hold on office may come not from a corruption scandal that has ensnared the country’s business and political elite but from a less-heralded probe into accounting practices led by a computer science graduate turned lawyer.

Julio Marcelo de Oliveira, a prosecutor at Brazil’s Federal Accounts Court, known as the TCU, says Rousseff broke the nation’s fiscal responsibility law by systematically delaying repayments to Brazilian lenders for advancing money to pay for social programs such as unemployment insurance. The delay in repayments resulted in the nation’s fiscal account appearing to be healthier than it was.

Aug 7, 2015

Brazil finance minister sees reform plans surviving political firestorm

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is struggling to keep allies on her side as she faces accusations of doctoring fiscal accounts, calls for her impeachment, and record-low approval ratings.

But her finance minister, in an interview, professed his confidence in her ability to ride out this political storm and the talked up the prospects for a fiscal austerity plan aimed at keeping Brazil’s investment grade credit rating. 

Aug 6, 2015

Brazil central bank warns new rate hikes if prices drift from target

BRASILIA, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank will
remain vigilant in case inflation forecasts drift significantly
away from its target, it said on Thursday in a clear warning it
could raise interest rates again.

In the minutes of last week’s rate-setting meeting, the bank
said progress in its fight against inflation showed monetary
policy was going in the right direction. It has promised to
halve inflation next year.

Jul 30, 2015

Brazil opts for steep rate hike, signals end of tightening

BRASILIA, July 29 (Reuters) – Brazil raised interest rates
to a nine-year high on Wednesday, but signaled one of the
world’s boldest tightening cycles is over despite fears a weaker
local currency could boost already high inflation.

In a unanimous vote, the bank’s monetary policy committee,
known as Copom, hiked the benchmark Selic rate by
50 basis points for a sixth straight time to 14.25 percent, for
the highest rate among the world’s top 10 economies.

Jul 29, 2015

Brazil’s Levy battles for influence as anti-austerity sentiment grows

BRASILIA, July 29 (Reuters) – Finance Minister Joaquim
Levy’s role as Brazil’s dominant economic policymaker is
slipping as he tries to push through unpopular austerity
measures aimed at saving the country’s investment grade rating.

In a somber briefing alongside Planning Minister Nelson
Barbosa last week, Levy announced a drastic cut in fiscal
savings targets for this and the next two years, shocking
markets and sparking a sell-off of Brazilian assets.

Jul 29, 2015

Brazil set to hike rates as inflation risks rise on weak real

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank was poised to maintain its aggressive pace of interest rate hikes on Wednesday after a steep cut in fiscal savings targets weakened the real currency and stirred doubts about the government’s commitment to help contain price increases.

Forty-two out of 55 analysts surveyed by Reuters last week expect the central bank to raise its benchmark Selic rate BRCBMP=ECI by 50 basis points for the sixth straight time to 14.25 percent. The remainder forecast a hike of 25 basis points.

    • About Alonso

      "Alonso has worked for more than a year covering commodities in the world's top copper producer Chile. A native of Nicaragua he has workers for Thomson Reuters for nearly five years with several stints in other Latin American countries. He is a University of Missouri-Columbia graduate."
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