Brazil finally announced its much expected budget resources reshuffle that will freeze 69.9 billion Reais (22.58 billion dollars) worth of spending on investment, education and health programs this year, limiting outlays in a bid to convince investors that President Dilma Rousseff is committed to saving the country's investment-grade rating.
Economic activity in Brazil tumbled in the first quarter and unemployment climbed to a near four-year high, adding to signals that a looming recession could worsen as President Dilma Rousseff reins in public spending.
Uruguayan president Tabare Vazquez said it was “urgent and necessary” to redesign Mercosur so as to give its members greater 'trade flexibility'. Vazquez made the statements following Thursday meeting with his peer Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia and underlined “it would be naive to admit that Mercosur as it stands currently, is satisfactory”.
The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) encouraged Brazil on Thursday to pursue fiscal discipline, saying it was needed to protect social programs benefitting the poorest members of society. IMF chief Christine Lagarde made the link during a visit to Complexo do Alemao, one of Rio's largest and most dangerous slums and an example of the challenges the country faces as it struggles with low growth and high inflation
Uruguayan president Tabare Vazquez will be meeting his peer, Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia this Thursday to address a dense bilateral agenda, and more specifically the workings and future of Mercosur, in search for a more flexible group, open to agreements with third parties.
Beijing has come to the rescue of Brazil's slumping economy with trade, finance and investment deals worth at least 53 billion dollars in energy, mining, aviation and upgrading of dilapidated infrastructure.
China's Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Brasilia on Monday to sign agreements on infrastructure, energy and aviation that experts say could reach 100 billion dollars. The South American tour also includes Colombia, Peru and Chile and aims to restructure China's resource-driven trade with Latin American countries by including more value-added products.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff saw allies and members of her own Workers’ Party challenge her in Congress by voting in favor of boosting pension benefits.
Brazilian Finance Minister Joaquim Levy said he expected the country’s economic slowdown to be temporary and that fiscal discipline remained central to ensuring the recovery as a commodity price boom waned. Addressing investors in London, Levy said fiscal discipline was needed to cushion the economy against the inflationary effects of the falling Real currency.
Mercosur countries have reached a basic consensus to look for mechanisms that will allow individual members to negotiate trade agreements outside the block, announced Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa, who has been leading a strong campaign (with Brazilian support) on the issue.