Delaying Public Sector Reforms: Post-Stabilization Fiscal Strains in Brazil
79 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2011
Date Written: January 1998
Since the mid-1980s Brazil has experienced a period of great macroeconomic instability. Examining the evolution of the primary balance during these years, one identifies three markedly distinct periods: 1985 to 1989, 1990 to 1994, and 1995-96. The average primary surplus increased from 0. 6 percent of GDP in 1985-89, to 3. 1 percent in 1990-94, falling back to less than 0. 1 percent of GDP in 1995-96. The reduction in the operational deficit between 1985-89 and 1990-94 reached almost 5. 5 percent of GDP, with more than half of the improvement coming from falling interest payments. Between 1990-94 and 1995-96, the operational deficit widened by 4. 5 percent of GDP. Only less than a third of that variation may be attributed to rising interest payments. All the rest came from the vanishing primary surplus.
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