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Troubled Brazil targets tighter deficit in 2017

Friday, July 8, 2016 - 08:27
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Brazil will aim to tighten its budget deficit next year as it seeks to stabilise its public finances, the interim government of Latin America's largest economy said Thursday.

[BRASÍLIA] Brazil will aim to tighten its budget deficit next year as it seeks to stabilise its public finances, the interim government of Latin America's largest economy said Thursday.

Publishing his latest deficit forecast, finance minister Henrique Meireilles said he is aiming to haul in the budget shortfall to US$41.3 billion in 2017 from US$50.6 billion this year.

The target will be achieved through "an effort focused on reducing spending and generating new revenues," he told a news conference.

Revenues would be generated by selling off state assets and concessions for airports and oil operations, he said.

Acting president Michel Temer has vowed to work to drag Brazil out of its deepest recession in decades.

That could mean "unpopular measures," he warned this week.

Mr Meireilles on Thursday did not rule out tax rises.

The official 2017 budget would be unveiled in late August, he said.

Mr Temer replaced president Dilma Rousseff when she was suspended in May.

She faces an impeachment trial over allegations that she fiddled government accounts. A verdict is expected in late August to decide whether she is removed from power for good.

Brazil's economy shrank 3.8 per cent last year. Economists forecast a similar contraction this year and zero growth for 2017.

AFP