Brazil's government wins initial approval for proposal to miss its budget surplus goal

SAO PAULO – Lawmakers approved the main text of a bill that will allow Brazil’s government to miss its legally mandated budget surplus for this year.

However, the final vote on the measure will have to wait until next week. That’s because of a pending proposed change to put limits on how much the target could be missed.

The main text of the bill passed early Thursday. It allows the government to miss its primary budget surplus target of 1.9 per cent of Brazil’s gross domestic product.

Through the third quarter of this year, the government was running a budget deficit of $6 billion. If it had been forced to meet the surplus goal, it would have had to make immediate and sharp cuts across the board.