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Brazil’s government debt falls to 84.5% of GDP in May, the lowest in nearly a year By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A 200-real bill is seen after the Central Bank of Brazil issued the new bill in Brasilia, Brazil, on September 2, 2020. REUTERS / Adriano Machado

By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s public finances improved across the board in May, official figures showed on Wednesday, as the budget deficit fell to a one-year low and public debt fell to its lowest level as a percentage. of the overall economy in almost a year.

Public debt fell to 84.5% of gross domestic product in May, with central bank figures showing the lowest since July 2020 and below 85.6% the previous month.

Chart: Brazil Debt – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/yzdvxlnjdvx/DEBTGDP.png

Net public sector debt also fell in May, to 59.7% of GDP from 59.8% the previous month, the lowest since August.

Stronger-than-expected tax revenues in recent months have helped improve the prospects for Brazil’s public finances, so much so that Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said last month that the overall budget deficit could turn into a surplus in 2023 .

Guedes said last week that Brazil’s debt-to-GDP ratio should close this year at 84%.

Central bank figures on Wednesday showed the public sector ran a deficit in May excluding interest payments of 15.5 billion reais ($ 3.1 billion), less than the 23.7 billion reais deficit forecast in a Reuters survey of economists. .

The nominal deficit for the month, including interest payments, was 37.4 billion reais, the central bank said.

The accumulated primary deficit in the 12 months to May was 428.6 billion reais, or 5.4% of GDP, the smallest deficit since May 2020 and below 7% of GDP revised downward in the year to April, the central bank said.

The nominal deficit, including interest payments, in the year through May was 724.3 billion reais, or 9.1% of GDP, the central bank said, compared to 827.2 billion reais or 10.6%. of the GDP of the previous month.

(1 dollar = 4.99 reais)

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