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UPDATE 1-Brazilian government debt falls to 84% of GDP in June, lowest in a year

·2 min read

(Adds detail on June figures)

By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA, July 30 (Reuters) - Brazil's public finances improved in June, figures showed on Friday, as fiscal consolidation following last year's crisis-fighting largesse and stronger growth pushed debt and the deficit as a share of the economy to the lowest in a year.

The public-sector primary deficit in the month excluding interest payments, however, was higher than expected and significantly wider than May, indicating that spending pressures to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic remain strong.

Overall government debt fell to 84.0% of gross domestic product in June, central bank figures showed, the lowest since June last year and down from 84.6% the month before.

Net public-sector debt rose, however, to 60.9% of GDP from 59.8% in the month before, mainly due to the wider primary deficit and appreciation of the real against the dollar in June, Brazil's central bank said.

The central bank's figures showed that the public-sector primary deficit in June was 65.5 billion reais ($12.8 billion), wider than the 60 billion reais shortfall forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.

The accumulated primary deficit in the 12 months through June was 305.5 billion reais, or 3.8% of GDP, down from 5.4% in May and the smallest deficit in over a year, the central bank said.

The nominal deficit including interest payments in the year through June was 589.7 billion reais, or 7.4% of GDP, the central bank said, compared with 724.3 billion reais, or 9.15% of GDP in the month before.

In its latest bimonthly revenue and expenditure report last week, Brazil's government cut its 2021 primary budget deficit forecast due to an expected jump in tax revenues on the back of stronger economic growth.

The Economy Ministry now expects a primary deficit of 155.4 billion reais this year, or 1.8% of GDP, down from 187.7 billion reais, or 2.2% of GDP, in May's report.

($1 = 5.11 reais) (Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Alex Richardson and Paul Simao)

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