Brazil to miss 2014 fiscal targets: Central bank

BRASILIA (AFP) - After enduring a fourth year of low growth, Brazil will miss its fiscal target for 2014 by a wide margin, its central bank said Monday.

Last month, the world's seventh largest economy's public sector primary fiscal balance - a deficit of 8.1 billion reais (S$4 billion) - was worse than forecast and the worst November on record.

Brazil's accumulated January to November deficit hit 19.642 billion reais, with growth forecast barely to creep above zero this year.

President Dilma Rousseff, re-elected in October to a second term, promised last month to put all government spending "under a magnifying glass."

Brazil had targeted a primary fiscal surplus for the year of 1.9 per cent of GDP or some 91.0 billion reais to reassure markets of its ability to service its debts.

Incoming finance minister Joaquim Levy told the Valor financial daily in an interview published Monday that the target had been lowered to "perhaps 10 billion reais" or 0.2 per cent of GDP.

Hitting the revised target would require a December surplus of 29 billion reais - significantly more than any other monthly figure this year.

Levy said the 2015 target would be set at US$66 billion (S$87 billion) or 1.2 per cent of GDP while stressing the government would have to hack away a raft of subsidies if Brazil is to return to growth, which hit 7.5 per cent in 2010 but slumped to just 1 per cent in 2012 and 2.5 per cent last year.