Brazil central government posts primary budget deficit

Francesca Washtell
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The Brazilian government posted a budget surplus in January (Source: Getty)

Brazil's central government has posted a primary budget deficit of 25.1bn reais (around £ in February, almost 12bn reais (over £2bn) higher than expected.

A Reuters consensus estimate of nine economists had expected the deficit of the government account, which covers the central bank, federal ministries and social security, to reach 13.8bn reais.

The February deficit was the widest-ever gap for that month and contrasted with a surplus of 14.8bn reais in January. The result for last month was the second worst on record, with December's deficit of 60.7bn reais coming in first place.

The deficit announcement came almost immediately after news that the PMDB party, the largest in Brazil's ruling coalition, voted to immediately exit president Dilma Rousseff's government and withdraw its six ministers from the cabinet at a leadership meeting today.

The PMDB's move could edge the president closer to impeachment by the country's congress over charges that she fiddled the country's accounts in the run-up to the 2014 election, in the midst of the country's worsening economic crisis.

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