GO
Loading...

REFILE-Brazil's Mantega says 2012 budget goal miss likely-paper

* First time minister says target out of reach -Estado

Follows central bank in saying full goal will not be met

SAO PAULO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Brazil's government would not meet its primary fiscal surplus goal this year without resorting to an accounting maneuver, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said in an interview published Tuesday.

``In fact, it's getting more difficult to reach the full fiscal surplus target in 2012,'' Mantega told local newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, citing a drop in tax collection, the impact of recent tax breaks meant to spur industry, and difficulties among states and municipalities in meeting budget goals.

``In October we will have good fiscal performance, but even so, we are not going to reach the full target at any cost,'' Mantega said.

It was the first time Mantega admitted Brazil would miss its budget target after Reuters reported in early September that the goal was in doubt.

Last week Brazil's central bank confirmed that the target would not be met without calculating the primary budget surplus -- income minus expenditures b e fore d e bt interest payments -- under an alternative set of rules that leaves some investment spending out of the equation.

The accounting maneuver, last used in 2010, is not recognized by some foreign auditors, including the International Monetary Fund. Yet it would prevent President Dilma Rousseff from having to slash public spending in coming months to meet the goal, which might threaten an incipient economic recovery in Latin America's top economy.

Mantega said Brazil's government would only know the size of the deduction in December, adding that the government was committed to its goals and would continue working towards reducing debt.