By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Celebrating a positive primary surplus recorded in January, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Monday that the country is resuming its growth trajectory. While the central government’s surplus (federal government, Central Bank and Social Security) totaled R$35.6 billion reais, regional governments registered a result of R$10.783 billion reais and state-owned companies totaled revenues of R$507 million reais in January.

Brazil, Treasury Secretary, Mansueto Almeida, says country must reduce deficit.
Treasury Secretary, Mansueto Almeida, says country must reduce deficit, photo by Marcelo Camargo/Agencia Brasil.

“We are changing Brazil! Returning the growth of our economy is one of the first steps towards prosperity. If all goes as planned, advancing in the necessary changes, Brazil will increase its investments considerably. The Brazilian population is the winner,”said Bolsonaro in his social media account.

The positive results for the first month of the year, however, can not be the basis of the year’s forecast, says Treasury Secretary, Mansueto Almeida.

“In January there are no revenue transfers to the states and municipalities. The transfer is always slower at the beginning of the year, especially at the beginning of a new administration,” he told reporters.

“What matters is the result of the year. As long as Brazil has a primary deficit, with high debt and a high tax burden, is cause for concern,” he concluded

Last year, government accounts registered a primary deficit of R$120 billion, the fifth consecutive year of negative results in public accounts.

Market expectation was for a lower positive balance of R$34.3 billion reais for the month. The estimate for the expansion of the GDP for the year remains at 2.48 percent. Both market and government officials hope that structural reforms will boost the country’s stagnant economy.

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