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Brazil enacts bigger-than-expected spending freeze to meet fiscal goal

The Brazilian government on Wednesday enacted a bigger spending freeze than anticipated while keeping tax hikes to a minimum as it seeks to reach a fiscal deficit target key to regaining the country’s investment-grade rating.

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles told a news briefing the government would freeze 42.1 billion reais ($13.48 billion) in spending to meet its primary budget deficit goal of 139 billion reais. Government officials initially expected a freeze of about 30 billion reais.

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