By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The federal government of Brazil registered the worst monthly primary deficit since 1997 in November, registering a negative account of R$21.28 billion, according to the country’s Treasury Department. In the accumulated total from January to November of 2015, the account registers a primary deficit of over R$54 billion, also the worst in 19 years.
According to the Treasury, Brazil’s social security system is responsible for the majority of the deficit last month and in 2015, registering a deficit of almost R$15 billion in November and R$91.4 billion in the accumulated total for the first eleven months of the year.
To obtain the fiscal target established for 2015, the government forecasts a primary surplus in December. “December is a month of surplus,” stated interim Treasury secretary Otavio Ladeira during a press conference to announce the results. “We expect a reversal (of the deficit) to reach our target.”
According to Ladeira, revenues for the year so far have been well below those forecast, registering a decline of 6.6 percent in the first eleven months of the year. The official said that the reduction in revenues has been partially compensated by the decrease in total government expenditures, which fell by 3.4 percent.
At the beginning of December, after weeks of uncertainty, Brazil’s Congress finally approved a bill to change the government’s fiscal target for 2015, increasing the authorized deficit to R$119.9 billion. Days later the government sent to Congress a bill which will also reduce the 2016 primary surplus from 0.7 percent to 0.5 percent of the GDP.