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Consolidating Macroeconomic Adjustment in Brazil

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  • Luiz de Mello
  • Diego Moccero

Abstract

Brazil has made considerable progress in recent years towards consolidating macroeconomic stability, which is a key framework condition for sustained growth. Monetary policy continues to respond swiftly to changes in the inflation outlook, anchoring expectations. Fiscal policy has been guided by debt sustainability considerations, delivering primary budget surpluses that have often exceeded the end-year targets. Nevertheless, while the public debt-to-GDP has been reduced, it remains high, especially in comparison with other emerging-market economies. Brazil?s overarching macroeconomic challenge is therefore to continue to reduce the public debt overhang while improving the quality of fiscal adjustment, which has so far been underpinned by revenue hikes, rather than a retrenchment of expenditure commitments. To do so, measures will need to be taken to arrest the increase in current spending, especially on pensions, paving the way for subsequently removing distortions and reducing the tax burden over the medium to longer term, once the debt-to-GDP ratio has been reduced in a sustainable manner. The favourable domestic macroeconomic environment, with falling inflation and improving growth prospects, appears propitious for reform towards the gradual phasing-out of directed credit and a reduction in compulsory reserve requirements. Consolider l'ajustement macroéconomique en Brésil Le Brésil a remarquablement progressé ces dernières années vers la consolidation de la stabilité macroéconomique, condition indispensable d'une croissance durable. La politique monétaire continue de réagir promptement à l'évolution des perspectives d'inflation, ancrant ainsi les anticipations. La politique budgétaire a été guidée par des considérations relatives à la viabilité de la dette, dégageant des excédents primaires souvent supérieurs aux objectifs de fin d'année. Néanmoins, si le ratio dette publique-PIB a diminué, il demeure élevé, surtout en comparaison de ceux des autres économies de marché émergentes. La principale tâche macroéconomique à laquelle le Brésil doit s'atteler est par conséquent de réduire encore le niveau excessif de la dette publique tout en améliorant la qualité de l'ajustement budgétaire qui, jusqu'à présent, a résulté d'augmentations de recettes et non de compressions des engagements de dépenses. Pour ce faire, des mesures devront être prises afin de mettre un terme à l'alourdissement des dépenses courantes, surtout au titre des pensions, de façon à pouvoir ensuite alléger la charge fiscale sur le moyen terme, une fois que le ratio dette-PIB aura été réduit de manière durable. Le contexte macroéconomique favorable, caractérisé par un recul de l'inflation et une amélioration des perspectives de croissance, paraît propice à une réforme visant à supprimer progressivement le crédit administré et à abaisser les niveaux de réserves obligatoires.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/361015676222
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 531.

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Date of creation: 05 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:531-en

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Keywords: inflation target; credit; public debt; fiscal adjustment; cible d'inflation; dette publique; ajustement budgétaire; crédit;

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